Vaccine cold-chain management

All vaccines are thermo-sensitive and need to be properly stored and distributed within an efficient cold-chain. To ensure the quality of the cold-chain in the WHO European Region, WHO/Europe supports the assessment of national cold-chain and logistics systems.

These assessments highlight the management elements of the system that need improvement. These needs are being addressed both at regional and country levels through specific training workshops on the management of vaccine stock, the monitoring of storage procedures, cold-chain maintenance, equipment requirements and other topics related to vaccine and cold-chain management.

Training

As with the Global Training Network, WHO is developing a network of centres to train staff in cold-chain and logistics management. A training course is also being organized for Russian-speaking countries in the Region.

Management

Another initiative to emphasize the importance of vaccine and cold-chain management is the WHO/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) initiative for effective vaccine store management (EVSM), which encourages countries to procure and maintain equipment and to adopt adequate management and training practices. WHO/Europe has already supported several self-assessments and external reviews, to enable countries to obtain quality certification.

Equipment 

Finally, WHO/Europe tries to help countries identify their needs and secure provision of the required cold-chain equipment, either through national commitment or through donor support.