Transporting Vaccines Safely

Need to move your vaccines from one place to another?

In Djibouti, vaccines were once transported using photovoltaic-powered refrigeration systems mounted on camels.
In Djibouti, vaccines were once transported using photovoltaic-powered refrigeration systems mounted on camels.

That might be more difficult than you think.

Transporting Vaccines Safely

Why would you need to move your vaccines?

Lots of reasons, including:

  • a temporary power outage
  • a vaccine clinic at an off-site location or clinic
  • to redistribute vaccines between clinics (should not be done routinely)
  • moving office locations

Why do you need to be careful when transporting your vaccines?

Because vaccines are very temperature sensitive and must be stored at the proper temperature. If your vaccines get too hot or too cold while being transported, then they likely won’t be effective anymore and will have to be replaced.

“The time needed to transport should be less than 8 hours and vaccine should be placed in a stable storage unit as quickly as possible .”

Vaccine Storage & Handling Toolkit

Fortunately, you can safely transport your vaccines if you plan ahead and have:

  • a hard sided coolor or styrofoam vaccine shipping container
  • conditioned frozen water bottles
  • insulating material
  • a temperature monitoring device

Except in emergency situations, you should also contact your VFC program before you transport vaccines to see if they have any specific instructions for you to follow.

What shouldn’t you do?

You should not use dry ice, attempt to transport multi-dose vials that have already been opened, or transport frozen and refrigerated vaccines in the same container.

And once transported, transfer the vaccines quickly to a new storage refrigerator or freezer, as appropriate, continuing to monitor and log temperatures.

What to Know About Transporting Vaccines

Be prepared before transporting your vaccines to another location so that they don’t get too hot or too cold.

More on Transporting Vaccines