Guidance on ordering, receiving and storing COVID-19 vaccines

Ordering COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines and associated consumables will be supplied to vaccination sites automatically. For further information refer to the Targeted Deployment Site Model information on FutureNHS   (login required).  

Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) will be provided with each vaccine delivery, and sites may order more through Foundry.  

Receipt of COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are supplied to vaccination sites at 2-8°C. 

COVID-19 vaccines should be checked on receipt following local stock receipt procedures and stored in a refrigerator at 2-8°C without delay, ensuring stock rotation so the shortest expiry stock will be used first. 

SPS has produced an example SOP that describes the steps to be taken to receive and store vaccines. The attachments are presented in Word to enable adaptation locally, or as reference source to check that existing local procedures are robust and comprehensive. Within the SOPs, red text indicates where detail is to be added locally. 


For further information about how each vaccine is presented, and how it should be stored, please refer to ourUnderstanding the characteristics of COVID-19 Vaccines articles. 

Storage of COVID-19 Vaccines

Before use, all COVID-19 vaccines must be stored in a refrigerator. For guidance about maintaining the vaccine cold chain please see our article articles on using a refrigerator or freezer to store medicines.

Each of the vaccines has different requirements for storage prior to use and following first puncture. For further information refer to our series of articles on understanding the characteristics of COVID-19 Vaccines and the SOPs for preparation of COVID-19 vaccines can be found in our series of articles on managing COVID-19 vaccines.


Update history

  1. Assumed time in transport by special logistics providers updated in SOP
  1. Link to guidance on cold chain now directs to generic article on use of refrigerators.
  1. Updated to state that vaccines and consumables are now automatically supplied to sites
  1. Added reference to recording the journey time for Spikevax vaccines in SOP HCV-1
  1. SOP and page updated to remove reference to frozen storage / thawing of vaccines as this is no longer routine practice
  1. Published

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