Cold chain must stay in place at all times - that includes over Xmas - it is important to have processes in place to reduce the risk of vaccine damage and wastage.

Before you go away or close for Xmas, check your cold chain management policy is up to date and your practice has a documented emergency plan in place in the event of a power outage or refrigerator failure. Ensure your back-up provider is available during this time and that all the staff who will be working over the holiday period understand what to do if it's needed. This is particularly important if you have locum staff into cover.

The National Standards for Vaccine Storage and Transportation for Immunisation Providers 2017 outlines the requirements for providers. Additional information on COVID-19 vaccine can be found in the 2021 addendum.

They are both available (as well as lots of other useful cold chain information) on our website:

The minimum cold chain requirements are:

  • Your Cold Chain Management Policy is up to date and your back-up emergency  refrigerator facilities are available over this period.
  • Daily minimum/maximum temperatures are checked and recorded every day your workplace is open.  Note: The data logger must be downloaded if any     daily minimum/maximum temperatures are outside the required +2°C to +8°C range.
  • Once a week the data logger is downloaded and the temperature information reviewed alongside the daily minimum/maximum temperatures. Appropriate action is taken if there is a significant variation between the min/ max and data logger temperatures.
  • All staff know how to download the data logger and review the information. Do not assume that everyone knows how to use the logger.
  • All staff know what actions are required and who to contact if there is a cold chain problem.

Each Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand district/PHO has an Immunisation and/or Cold Chain Coordinator. Generally, they will only be available on business days. If your clinic is open on statutory days, ensure a plan is in place should a cold chain problem occur.

When ordering vaccines just before the Christmas/New Year break, maintain the minimum vaccine stock level to provide services over the holiday period. This will minimise loss of vaccine stock if problems with the fridge temperatures occur.

Remember, if there is a cold chain problem and your vaccines have been exposed to temperatures outside the +2°C to +8°Crange, QUARANTINE THE VACCINES at +2°C to +8°C until you can get advice from your Immunisation/Cold Chain Coordinator.

Follow the instructions on the Cold Chain Temperature Breach Flow Chart:  here

Xmas hours for 0800 calls

Please find the Xmas hours on our website: here