Questions & Answers
Storage & Handling - Vaccine Storage
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General information

  1. What is Cold Chain Management?
    Cold Chain Management is the process of preparing temperature-sensitive medical products (TSMP) for shipment utilizing standardized systems and procedures, ensuring that required temps are maintained throughout the supply chain, and the validation that those conditions are met during all phases of distribution until delivery.

  2. What is proper vaccine storage and handling?
    Vaccines are stored, shipped, and handled according to pharmaceutical manufacturers' instruction as outlined in the product's package insert or other guidance. Failure to adhere to recommended specifications for proper storage and handling temperatures may reduce vaccine potency, resulting in an inadequate immune response and inadequate protection against the vaccine preventable disease.

  3. Who is USAMMA/DOC?
    United States Army Medical Material Agency/Distribution Operation Center (USAMMA/DOC) is the DoD agency responsible for the management, coordination, and execution of distribution services. Specifically, the packing and storage of Temperature Sensitive Medical Products (TSMPs) requiring refrigeration or other special handling requirements while maintaining close in-transit visibility in support of our internal and external customers. The DOC operates under the clinical and technical direction of USAMMA's Pharmacy Consultant who is also the Deputy Director for Distribution Operations of the Immunization Healthcare Branch.

  4. How can USAMMA/DOC be reached?

    For vaccines and temperature sensitive product questions contact USAMMA /DOC during the hours of 0700-1700 EST at phone: 301-619-4318, 3017, 4198/ DSN: 343-4318, 3017, 4198/Fax: 301-619-4468; after hours call: 301-676-1184, 301-676-0808, or 301-256-8072 for urgent issues only.

    NIPR E-mail:

    For more information go to the following website:

  5. Who is DLA Troop Support?
    Defense Logistics Agency-Troop Support (DLA-TS) provides United States armed services members with food, clothing, textiles, medicines, medical equipment, and construction supplies and equipment. The pharmaceutical division offers most vaccines for purchase by eligible DoD customers.

    More information can be found at the following website:

  6. What vaccine storage and handling training should immunization departments implement?
    All staff members who administer vaccines should be trained during orientation and annually about the importance of vaccine cold chain management and storage/handling practices. In addition, they should be familiar with the correct storage temperatures for the various vaccines and procedures for what to do if the temperature is out-of-range, i.e., power outage, equipment failure, etc.

  7. Where can additional storage and handling information guidelines be found?
    The IHB website has a webpage dedicated to vaccine storage and handling, , which includes tools and products to help you build quality storage and handling practices. The CDC also has a vaccine storage and handling webpage,, that includes numerous resources including forms, checklists, posters, and guidelines on proper vaccine storage and handling.