Practice Management - Storage & Handling

Storage and HandlingProper storage and handling is essential to effective administration of vaccines. Use the following resources to make sure that the cold chain is not broken and that your vaccines remain viable both in every day use and in the event of a disaster.


NEW! AAP Storage and Handling Tip Sheet Series


The AAP has developed a new set of Storage and Handling Resources to help pediatricians keep their vaccine stock safe.

This set includes:


Checklist for Maintaining Proper Storage and Handling Practices (PDF 64KB)

Refrigerators, Freezers, and Vaccine Storage (PDF 66KB) - Determine vaccine storage choices and needs for your office.

Data Loggers and Vaccine Monitoring (PDF 159KB) -Determine vaccine monitoring equipment choices and needs for your office.

Safe Vaccine Transport (PDF 57KB)

Disaster Planning (PDF 77KB)



See other storage and handling resources that have been compiled, below.



The AAP has developed a course offering Continuing Medical Education credit on proper vaccine storage and handing. To purchase this course on PediaLink, log in with your AAP ID #, click the Continuing Education tab, and then click CME finder. Look for vaccine storage and handling.


The CDC released interim storage and handling guidance on October 5, 2012. Several important changes were made:


  • Use of a biosafe glycol-encased probe or a similar temperature buffered probe rather than measurement of ambient air temperatures, and;
  • Use of digital data loggers with detachable probes that record and store temperature information at frequent programmable intervals for 24 hour temperature monitoring rather than non-continuous temperature monitoring, and;
  • Use of stand-alone refrigerator and stand-alone freezer units suitable for vaccine storage rather than combination (refrigerator+freezer) or other units not designed for storing fragile biologics, such as vaccines, and;
  • Discontinuing use of dorm-style or bar-style refrigerator/freezers for ANY vaccine storage, even temporary storage, and;
  • Weekly review of vaccine expiration dates and rotation of vaccine stock.


More information on storage and handling can be found from the CDC (Exit Site) and the AAP Red Book (Log-in required).


Best Practices

We would like to share best practices on vaccine storage and handling based on the questions below. Please send your ideas on cost effective and sustainable practices to We will review and post your suggestions.


How does your practice ensure that vaccines are stored and handled according to the manufacturers’ recommendation?


What equipment and methods are used to monitor the temperature at which vaccines are stored?



AAPNews articles:


Disaster Planning

Disaster Planning Presentation (PPT 481KB, Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina: Ensuring Proper Vaccine Management, Handling, and Administration During a Disaster)

IAC Emergency Response Worksheet (PDF 61KB)


AAP Immunization Training Guide & Practice Procedure Manual

CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit (exit site)

CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Guide (exit site)

Video Guidance for Proper Storage and Handling of Vaccines (exit site)

Vaccine Storage Temperature Recommendations (PDF - 35KB)

Guidelines for Storage and Temperature Monitoring of Refrigerated Vaccines (PPT 3.1 MB)

Recording Refrigerator Temperatures (PDF 322 KB)

Recoding Freezer Temperatures (PDF 162 KB)

Setting Up Your Refrigerator for Vaccine Storage (PDF 123 KB )

Setting Up Your Freezer for Vaccine Storage (PDF 1.3 MB)

Storing Vaccines in Your Refrigerator (PDF 255 KB)

Storing Vaccines in Your Freezer (PDF 312 KB)

Temperature Logs for Vaccines - Celsius (PDF 116KB) & Fahrenheit (PDF 123 KB)

Don't Be Guilty of These Errors in Storage & Handling (PDF 60 KB)

Checklist for Safe Vaccine Storage and Handling (PDF 149 KB)

Ice Point Test for Thermometers (exit site)

Refrigerator/Freezer Setup Resources (Exit Site)


Last Updated: 6/11/14

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