Vaccine Ordering and Storage

Vaccine Ordering and Storage

All vaccines are stored and delivered under temperature controlled conditions by the HSE National Cold Chain Service which is managed by United Drug distributors. Approved doctors may order vaccines on a monthly basis online using the following website  (you will be directed to the order vaccines website) 

If you have any questions about your order please contact the HSE National Cold Chain Service by Email

Vaccines are then delivered directly to GP surgeries and Local HSE Offices. Additional supplies can be delivered in an emergency.

For more details about the HSE National Cold Chain Service see:



Log onto to complete the 30 minute e-learning module Storing and Managing Vaccines  (you will be directed to the HSEland website) 

Survey Reports

Details of vaccines not on  (you will be directed to the HPRA website) 

Adverse Reaction Report Form. Please visit the Health Products Regulatory Authority website to download the form and report an adverse reaction. You can also report adverse reactions online from this website.  (you will be directed to the HPRA website) 

Vaccine Storage

  • Vaccine refrigerators are recommended for storage of vaccines. Manufacturer's recommendations on storage should be observed. Vaccines must be kept at temperatures between 2-8oC.
  • Vaccines should be stored in the pharmaceutical refrigerator which should not be overfilled to allow air to circulate around the packages. They should not be stored on the shelves or storage compartments of the door of non pharmaceutical refrigerators.
  • The vaccine packs should not touch the sides or back of the refrigerator.
  • Door opening should be kept to a minimum
  • A maximum/minimum thermometer should be used in refrigerators where vaccines are stored, irrespective of whether the refrigerator incorporates a temperature indicator dial. The maximum and minimum temperatures reached should be monitored and recorded daily. Temperature record logs are best kept close to the refrigerator for ease of reference. If temperatures are recorded outside the permitted range or if there is a breakdown in supply or equipment, the local Senior Medical Officer should be contacted for further advice.
  • The vaccine refrigerator should be cleaned every two months with a 1:10 solution of sodium hypochlorite.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that the electricity supply to the vaccine storage refrigerator cannot be accidentally interrupted. This can be achieved by using a switchless socket or by placing cautionary notices on plugs and sockets.
  • Food and drink must not be stored in refrigerators used for vaccines.

Disposal of Vaccines

Reconstituted vaccine must be used within the recommended period, varying from one to four hours, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Single dose containers are preferable as once opened, multidose vials must not be kept after the end of the session. Unused vaccine, spent or partly spent vials should be disposed of safely by incineration. Contaminated waste and spillage should be dealt with by heat sterilisation, incineration or chemical disinfection as appropriate.

Expired vaccines should be returned to the HSE National Cold Chain Service at the next delivery. 

Needles and Syringes

Needles and syringes must be securely stored and delivery and distribution recorded. Needles and syringes should be disposed of in sharps bins. Sharps bins must not be left unattended in schools. Sharps bins should be collected regularly and be disposed of safely.

This page was updated on 1 August 2023