Managing COVID-19 Vaccines: Guidance and SOPs

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A series containing guidance and Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) for managing COVID-19 vaccines


COVID-19 vaccines must be handled with care, and following the manufacturer’s instructions. Our articles and Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) will give vaccination providers the information they need to ensure that the vaccines are fit for purpose when they are administered. 

This linked series of articles provides advice and SOPs for: 

  • Ordering, receipt and storage of COVID-19 vaccines. This includes an SOP for receipt and storage of vaccines at 2°C-8°C 
  • Transporting vaccines from their initial receiving site to a vaccination clinic or to domiciliary settings. This includes an SOP for using cool boxes to maintain the cold chain. 
  • Preparation of each of the vaccines ready for administration, including control of expiry at room temperature. This includes a preparation SOP for each of the different vaccines. 
  • Disposal of un-used vaccines, and dealing with spillages. 

In addition, we have created a linked series of articles to enable users to understand the characteristics of each vaccine. 

Autumn 2023 Update

The Autumn 2023 booster campaign will use some of the same vaccines as were used for the Spring 2023 campaign, and will also introduce new XBB.1.5 variant vaccines as they become available. New SPS guidance and SOPs will be added to our website as the vaccines are introduced into the programme, and those no longer in use will be removed.  

Useful Resources

COVID-19 vaccination: vaccine product information – GOV.UK ( 

Update history

  1. Comirnaty 30 (XBB.1.5) vaccine added to series
  1. Updated with information regarding the Autumn 2023 campaign
  1. Added Comirnaty 3 (THREE) Concentrate
  1. Added Spikevax Original/Omicron BA.4-5
  1. Coming soon note added for Comirnaty 3 (THREE) Concentrate and Spikevax Original/Omicron BA.4-5
  1. Updated to include vaccines used in spring 2023 campaign
  1. Nuvaxovid resources not prepared by SPS. Statement added to clarify this.
  1. Published