Manage your vaccine

For vaccines to be potent and effective, they have to stay within a specific temperature range. When you order VFC or VFAAR vaccine, it’s your responsibility to maintain the right storage temperature, from the time the vaccines are delivered to your office right up until you administer a vaccine to a patient.

For information on managing your vaccines, consult Routine Vaccine Management – or this webpage.

Emergency or Out-of-Range Temperature? Click here

Ordering Vaccine Online

Health care providers who participate in the VFC or VFAAR programs can order vaccine online through PhilaVax. To order online, you must send in your clinic’s temperature logs and inventory reconciliation.

Receiving shipments

When vaccines are shipped to your clinic, you must mark them received in PhilaVax, and you must immediately store them appropriately. All staff who accept packages should know the importance of immediately storing vaccine, and know who your offices Vaccine Coordinator is.

When you receive a shipment from McKesson or Merck, immediately check the 3M MonitorMark Time Temperature Indicator, TransTracker C FREEZEmarker Indicator and/or ColdMark Freeze Indicator. These will show if the vaccine has maintained proper temperature during shipment.

Separating vaccine

Private, VFC, and VFAAR vaccine can’t be used interchangeably – and we’ll verify this during our quality assurance visits to your site.

Clearly label VFC and VFAAR vaccine to distinguish it from privately-purchased vaccine. When you receive vaccine shipments, label them as you unpack and store them. You can request VFC and VFAAR stickers at no cost from us.

Storing vaccine

All vaccines need to be stored in a precise temperature range – some need to be in the fridge and some need to be in the freezer. Set up your fridge or freezer according to the pointers below. For full guidance, download and review The Complete Storage and Handling Guide.

If you have questions or issues with vaccine storage, contact TempCheck@phila.gov.

  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Combination unit
  • Pharmaceutical fridge
  • standalone refrigerator

  • standalone freezer

  • combination refrigerator

  • pharmaceutical refrigerator

Monitoring temperature

All vaccines must be refrigerated, except for Varicella. Varicella is the only vaccine that is stored in the freezer.

Monitor temperatures twice a day using the Temperature Logs below, and keep records on file for 3 years.

All VFC and VFAAR sites are issued 2 LogTag digital data loggers (DDLs) with certificates of calibration from an accredited laboratory. Use these DDLs to track your temperatures. They will generate data logs that you send to us before you order vaccine.

If your storage units (fridges and freezers) go out of range, the DDLs will show an alarm. Temperature emergencies are serious – respond to alarms immediately.

Managing vaccine inventory

Reconciliation means keeping track of your vaccine inventory in PhilaVax – documenting vaccine doses that have been administered, returned, or adjusted due to wastage. You must complete returns or adjustments before your reconciliation; and, you must complete a reconciliation before you can order more vaccine.

If you have difficulty completing your Reconciliation in PhilaVax, email DPHProviderHelp@phila.gov.

Get help

  • VFC101: This 90-minute session focuses on the policies, procedures, and practices of the VFC, VFAAR, and AFIX programs, designed specifically for health care providers’ office managers. Look for scheduled trainings on our Events page.
  • Contact TempCheck. Email TempCheck@phila.gov or call 216-685-6777 to reach Alexis Bridges and Adam Howsare, to help you with all of your storage and handling concerns.