Excursions and Returns

Handling a Cold Chain Excursion

A cold chain excursion occurs when vaccine is exposed to a temperature outside the required temperature range of +2.0 °C to +8.0 °C for any period of time and the potency of the vaccine is potentially compromised.

Reporting an Excursion

Step 1. Contact Public Health immediately to report out-of-range temperatures and receive further instructions: 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7396.

Step 2. Stop using the vaccine until further notice and keep it in a fridge or cooler that is between +2.0 °C to +8.0 °C.

Step 3. Complete the Vaccine Inventory and Return Form.

Step 4. Fax the form accompanied by a copy of the current four week temperature log, including the times of the recordings (continue recording temperatures) to 905-688-4667.

Step 5. Bag and label the vaccine "DO NOT USE". Keep the labelled bag in the fridge or cooler that is between +2.0 °C to +8.0 °C.

Step 6. Do not assume the vaccine is no longer stable and can't be used. Wait to hear back from Public Health. Public Health will determine vaccine stability and then notify the facility on what vaccine can continue to be used and what vaccine must be returned.

Returning Vaccine to Public Health

All unused seasonal influenza vaccines need to be returned to Public Health by the end of each flu season.

Vaccines also need to be returned when:

  • The vaccine has expired
  • There has been a cold chain excursion and the vaccine is no longer stable to use as determined by Public Health

Do you have stable vaccines that haven't expired that you no longer want?

Keep it in your inventory until the expiry date. Public Health cannot take it back as we're unable to use or redistribute excess vaccine.

How to Return Vaccine

Step 1. Complete the appropriate boxes on the Vaccine Inventory and Return Form.

Step 2. Place vaccine in an empty bag.

Step 3. Attach the completed form to the bag (or place inside) and close securely.

Step 4. Write "Vaccine Return" and the facility’s name on the outside of the bag.

Step 5. Return the vaccine to Public Health via the delivery service or drop off at a Public Health office.

More Information

Call the Vaccine Preventable Disease program at 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7396 (Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) for more information.

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