Important: The POPLINE website will retire on September 1, 2019. Click here to read about the transition.

Storage temperatures for unfrozen vaccines 0-8 degrees C [memorandum]

Moreno E
[Unpublished] 1986 Jan 8. [1] p. (HPM/EPI C12/20/1)

The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has changed its initial recommendation concerning the temperatures for storing unfrozen vaccines to 0 degrees Centigrade to 8 degrees Centigrade from the previous recommendation of not below 4 degrees Centigrade (with an upper limit of 8 degrees Centigrade). Most, but not yet all, current Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) documents carry this new recommendation, and it will be revised in old documents as they are updated. This decision has been the source of several heated debates among the technical staff. 2 factors swayed the decision to make this change: In some links of the cold chain, which depend on ice, there is no alternative but to allow a lower limit of 0 degrees Centigrade; and the result of studies of temperatures required to freeze DPT before freezing occurs. The change makes the current recommendation consistent with current practice and does not appear to pose a threat to the potency of the DPT, DT, or T vaccines. Some diluent may freeze at 0 degrees Centigrade, but this only causes a problem if freezing breaks the diluent vial. This has not been observed at 0 degrees Centigrade, although it has occurred at lower temperatures. 1 of the reasons for the debates over making this change is that it violates the principle of giving clear and consistent advice to the health workers carrying out the operations. Yet, in this case the feeling is that due to the various considerations explained, the new recommendation is justified.

Document Number: 
Add to my documents. Add to My Documents