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Cold Chain

Recording vaccine fridge temperatures – brief summary

  1. Read
  2. Record
  3. Reset
  4. React

Please access the following links for more detailed information

You are advised to contact the quality team at your ICS for more support and guidance.

Transporting Vaccines

CQC say "All providers should have a policy which includes how to handle vaccines to maintain the cold chain from the point of delivery to administration. It should include transport of vaccines outside the practice, actions to take in the event of a breach in the cold chain and details of how the practice will ensure learning from cold chain incidents"

The NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS) has a policy specific for Primary care  that also covers transporting vaccines. It is recommended that you look at the policy in full, however the section on transport tells us: -

 10. Transporting vaccines

 10.1 Returned vaccines that have been transported

Vaccination sessions away from the base clinic should be planned in such a way that the correct amount of vaccine is transported, thereby minimising any need to return vaccine.  In general, unused vaccines may be returned to the base clinic vaccine refrigerator, providing there is evidence from the data logger that the cold chain has been maintained. Returned vaccines should be marked, segregated and used at the earliest opportunity.  This general information is not applicable to all situations and vaccine specific information should be followed where this is available, for example vaccines that are particularly temperature sensitive or require complex handling.

If the cold chain cannot be guaranteed, then advice must be sought from the manufacturer or local Medicines Information Department/ICS Pharmacy team (insert local contact details XXX) and if necessary, the vaccines should be destroyed.


Data loggers

Many practices have been using data logger’s for several years as it provides an accurate ongoing temperature recording which can provide additional information should there be a breach in the cold chain. They can also be useful if you are the person overseeing temperature recordings and based in an alternative location. There are a range of data loggers available and the prices can vary, you are advised to refer to the manufactures guidance on frequency of calibration.

It is recommend that practices continue to record fridge temperatures manually at least daily even if using a data logger.

Ambient room temperature for storage of medicines

Safe Ranges for ambient medication, will be dependent on the medicines and can range between 15°C to 25°C for most medicines, although some medicines can be stored at up to 30°C. Some CCGs recommend that if the ambient temperature remains at 25 degrees for a number of consecutive days this should be investigated and recorded as a SE e.g. Dorset ICS. You are recommended to speak to the medicines management team at your ICS for clarification and guidance.


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Updated on Tuesday, 27 June 2023 3722 views