The National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’ provide information for immunisation providers for best practice vaccine storage and cold chain management. The new guidelines, released in June 2019, and resources are available from the National Vaccine Storage resource collection.
 

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What are the main changes?

The National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’ (3rd edition) 2019, have been updated to reflect best practice in vaccine storage.
 
All staff involved in ordering, handling, managing and administration vaccines are encouraged to review the new guidelines as changes and updates have occurred throughout the document.
 
NSW Health has also introduced mandatory cold chain training requirements to strengthen cold chain management in NSW.
 
The key changes in the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’ (3rd edition) 2019 and changes to NSW Health vaccine storage and cold chain requirements are summarised below.
 

Changes to the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines 'Strive for 5' (3rd edition) 2019

​What has changed? ​New requirements Refer to​​
​Use of domestic refrigerators for vaccine storage Domestic refrigerators must not be used for vaccine storage​ Section ​3: Types of refrigerators for vaccine storage​​3: Types of refrigerators for vaccine storage​
Vaccine temperature monitoring requirements Purpose built vaccine refrigerators must be continuously monitored using a data logger Section 4: Vaccine temperature monitoring devices
​Transporting vaccines Additional guidance has been included for managing mobile or outreach immunisation clinics and transport of vaccines during an emergency or power failure ​Section 7: mobile or outreach immunisation clinics
Vaccine fridge temperature chart The vaccine fridge temperature chart has been updated and should be used by all immunisation providers when recording the twice daily purpose-built vaccine refrigerator temperatures Appendix 5: Twice daily temperature monitoring chart of vaccines stored in vaccine refrigerators
​Resources Several new appendices have been included to support immunisation providers Appendix 7: Checklist for mobile or outreach immunisation clinics.
Appendix 8: Monitoring temperature chart for mobile or outreach immunisation clinics.
Appendix 9: Management of power failure checklist.
Appendix 10: Considerations when choosing a purpose-built vaccine refrigerator.
 
 

 Changes to NSW Health cold chain management requirements 

​What has changed?​ ​New requirements Refer to​​
Education and training From July 31 2019, at least one staff member must successfully complete the NSW Health Vaccine Storage and Cold Chain Management online learning module to order vaccines
 
It is however recommended that ALL staff complete the online learning module
​The NSW Health online learning module
Vaccine storage audits NSW Health will be conducting random cold chain audits of general practices to ensure compliance with vaccine storage and staff training requirements
General practices will be required to submit evidence that:
  • the practice is compliant with vaccine storage and temerature monitoring requirements outlined in the National Guidelines and
  • that at least one person has completed the NSW Health online cold chain learning module
 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What do the changes mean for my practice?

Immunisation providers using domestic fridges should purchase a new purpose built vaccine specific fridge within a reasonable timeframe. Your local public health unit can work with you to establish a reasonable timeframe for your practice to transition to the new vaccine storage requirements.
 
All fridges storing vaccines must be continuously monitored with a data logger before vaccines can be ordered. If the fridge does not have a data logger you will no longer be allowed to order vaccines until a data logger is installed and staff are trained to use the data logger and interpret the readings.
 
Please contact your local public health unit for further advice on 1300 066 055.
 

I store vaccines in a domestic fridge, do I need to purchase a purpose-built vaccine refrigerator?

Yes, all immunisation providers accessing government funded vaccines must purchase a purpose-built vaccine refrigerator within a reasonable timeframe. Your local public health unit will work with you to establish a reasonable timeframe for your practice to transition to the new vaccine storage requirements.
 

Is there a government funding scheme to assist immunisation providers with the cost of purchasing a purpose-built vaccine refrigerator?

No, there is no government funding scheme for purpose-built vaccine refrigerators.
 

Is the battery operated thermometer the same as a data logger?

No, please refer Section 4 Vaccine temperature monitoring devices of The National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’ (3rd edition) 2019.
 

Why do I need a data logger when I already check my fridge temperatures twice daily?

Please refer Section 4 Vaccine temperature monitoring devices of The National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’ (3rd edition) 2019. Data loggers provide 24/7 monitoring of your fridge. They are extremely useful to determine the duration of exposure of vaccines to out of range temperatures.
 

I am concerned that my practice does not meet the requirements of the updated National Vaccine Storage Guidelines, Strive for 5 (3rd edition) 2019. What should I do?

Contact your local public health unit on 1300 066 055 or your primary health network for further information and advice.
 

Does everyone in my practice have to complete the NSW Health cold chain training module?

At least one staff member must successfully complete the NSW Health Vaccine Storage and Cold Chain Management on-line learning module to continue to receive government-funded vaccines. However, it is strongly recommended that all persons responsible for ordering, storing, receiving and administering vaccines complete the on-line training module to ensure they understand the principles of vaccine storage. All staff should be competent in vaccine management in the event the person responsible for vaccine storage and the back-up person are away or in the event of an emergency or power failure.
 

The NSW Health cold chain training module is not working?

You must have Adobe flash player installed in your computer. If it is still not working you may need to select a different web browser. If you are still having issues please contact your local public health unit on 1300 066 055.
 

At the completion of the NSW Health cold chain training module there is a link to order vaccine temperature charts. However the link to: “where can I access a NSW Health approved vaccine fridge temperature chart?” is not working.

A vaccine fridge temperature monitoring chart is available from the National Vaccine Storage resource collection.
Page Updated: Friday 19 July 2019
Contact page owner: Immunisation