Basic rules for using vaccine refrigerators

  • Always arrange vaccines and diluents so that air can circulate freely; this also makes it easier to handle the vaccines.
  • Wherever possible, store vaccines and diluents in a refrigerator that is reserved for this purpose only. If other heat-sensitive supplies, such as drugs, ointments, sera and samples, have to be stored in the refrigerator, label them clearly and keep them completely separate from the vaccines and diluents.
  • Never store food or drink in a vaccine refrigerator.
  • Do not open the door or lid unless it is essential to do so. Frequent opening raises the temperature inside the refrigerator.
  • If there is a freezer compartment, do not use it to store vaccines and diluents.
  • Do not keep expired vaccines in the refrigerator.
  • If vaccines or diluents are supplied in their original cartons, arrange the boxes so that there is at least a two-centimetre space between stacks. Mark the cartons clearly and make sure the markings are visible when the door or lid is opened.
  • If vaccines or diluents are supplied as individual containers, use a plastic tray, plastic box or other arrangement to store the vaccines in an orderly fashion.
  • If diluent is packaged with the vaccine, store the complete packaged product in the refrigerator. If diluents are supplied separately from the vaccine, store them in the refrigerator if there is adequate space. If there is not adequate space, move the diluents to the refrigerator at least 24 hours before they are needed so they are cooled.

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