Vaccine storage for the 2021 flu season

Do you know how to store vaccines safely?

If you haven’t started looking for vaccination information, now is the time. As you are all aware, the influenza season is just around the corner. Many facilities will be ordering influenza vaccines and organising vaccine programs for residents and staff alike. We thought it was time for a safe vaccine storage refresher, and to remind you how to Strive for 5.

Strive for 5

“Correct vaccine storage and handling has been an important factor in preventing and eradicating many common vaccine-preventable diseases. Yet, each year, storage and handling errors result in revaccination of many clients and significant financial loss because of wasted vaccines. Failure to store and handle vaccines properly can reduce vaccine potency, resulting in inadequate immune responses in clients and poor protection against disease. Clients can lose confidence in vaccines and immunisation service providers if they have to be revaccinated after receiving vaccines that may have been compromised.”

Excerpt Strive for 5 Guidelines

From the DOH vaccination information website:

The Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’ provides information and advice for vaccine storage management for Australian immunisation service providers, from medical practices to large hospitals, clinics and outreach providers.

‘Strive for 5’ refers to 5°C — that is, the point midway between +2°C and +8°C – the temperature range recommended for vaccine storage. Many vaccines are damaged or destroyed at temperatures outside this range.

These guidelines:

  • describe the best approach to ensure that clients receive effective and potent vaccines
  • describe the ‘cold chain’ and provide advice on what should be done in the event of a cold chain breach
  • include resources such as checklists, charts, posters and stickers.

Not sure of where to find information to ready yourself for the upcoming vaccination season? This resource is all you will need.

It’s important to ensure that vaccines are stored properly to ensure their effectiveness. By doing your part and checking your current arrangements, you’ll be making everything much easier for yourself in the future.

If you have any questions about vaccine storage, or anything related to infection control, contact us. With over twenty-five years in infection prevention and control in Australia and New Zealand, we’ve seen it all.