Vaccine management and logistics
Vaccine management includes two critical functions that must be undertaken by a skilled, competent and motivated team to ensure adequate availability of high-quality vaccines for immunization service delivery. These are:
The managerial responsibilities of vaccine management include the following:
- Identifying and estimating needs for vaccines and immunization-related equipment in accordance with programme plans and projections;
- Coordination, preparation and ordering vaccines and injection equipment in a timely fashion;
- Overseeing systems for optimal use and maintenance of major cold chain equipment and transportation;
- Establishing standard operating guidelines for the clearance and receipt of vaccines and immunization-related equipment, including completion of Vaccine Arrival Reports;
- Receiving vaccines and handling of stocks; Clearing vouchers and relevant documentation required for the requisition and distribution of vaccines and immunization-related equipment to lower levels to ensure that adequate quantities have been delivered and can be referenced;
- Providing technical support to provincial and district level managers;
- Report-writing and record-keeping of archived documents.
The main responsibilities of vaccine management include the following:
- Carrying out deliveries in consultation with the management;
- Sorting of vaccines and immunization-related equipment as appropriate;
- Updating stock records (individual stock sheets per batch);
- Monitoring storage temperatures and other conditions as appropriate;
- Conducting first-level maintenance of cold chain equipment;
- Informing management of any apparent problems.
Vaccine management resources
The Vaccine Management Handbook, a component of the EVM Initiative, has been written for decision-makers at national and subnational levels; its purpose is to provide technical advice on key topics related to immunization logistics to help countries develop and refine national policies.