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Handling Open Vials of COVID-19 Vaccine

Handling Open Vials of COVID-19 Vaccine

It’s important that vaccine is stored properly before it is administered to protect its viability and ensure that your patients get the protection that they need. COVID-19 vaccine products do not contain any preservative and expire hours after the vial is first punctured.

Use the table to make sure that the COVID vaccine at your site is stored at the right temperature for the right amount of time after it has been punctured. If storing at room temperature, ensure that the temperature is in range, between 9°C and 25°C (47°F and 77°F). Doses not used within this time must be discarded, whether they are still in the vial or have been pre-drawn in a syringe. More information on when it is appropriate to pre-draw doses and how to keep track of pre-drawn doses is included below.

Pre-drawing Doses

It is best practice when administering COVID-19 vaccine to draw up the dose immediately before giving the vaccine.However, in some circumstances, such as mass vaccination events when multi-dose vials are used, it may be more practical to prefill syringes. Pre-drawn COVID-19 vaccine syringes prepared for administration must be labeled with the following legible identifying information to prevent errors:
  • Name and amount of vaccine
  • The expiration date, Beyond Use Date (BUD) and BUD time
  • The time the vaccine must be discard (see the table above)
  • Lot number
  • Initials of preparer

Syringes should be kept out of direct sunlight.

Have questions about storing your COVID vaccine?
Email TempCheck@phila.gov.
View the wastage guide.