Using COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca appropriately in temporary vaccination sites

Mark Cheeseman, Professional Lead for Medicines Information, Midlands & East, Midlands and East Medicines Advice Service (East site)Published

Advice on appropriately transporting, storing, preparing and administering COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca for a “drive-through” model.

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Appropriate use of site model

The COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is currently the only vaccine appropriate for a “drive-through” temporary vaccination site model.

Other key material

Prior to using COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in temporary vaccination sites, you should familiarise yourself with key material below.

Using COVID-19 vaccines appropriately in temporary vaccination sites

In temporary vaccination sites, good medicines governance will ensure safe and secure handling. Key issues are listed and implementation tools are provided.

Institutional Readiness for Management of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine in Trusts

Must read guidance for Chief Pharmacists and others in Trusts on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Transporting to site

Consider the following when transporting the vaccine to temporary vaccination sites.

Sensitivity to movement

  • The vaccine is not sensitive to movement, but shaking should be avoided.
  • No special precautions for handling, distribution or transport exist.
  • Keep vials upright during transport and storage.

Storing on site

Consider the following when storing the vaccine at temporary vaccination sites.

Temperature and time constraints

  • Shelf life is 6 months at 2-8°C.
  • Room temperature below 25°C within 2 hours prior to vaccine puncture.

Protect from UV and sunlight

  • Vials can be handled in room light conditions, but must be protected from exposure to ultraviolet light and sunlight.

Preparing on site

Consider the following when preparing the vaccine at temporary vaccination sites.

Time constraints

  • After first puncture the vial may be stored for up to 6 hrs at up to 25°C.

Protect from UV and sunlight

  • Vials can be handled in room light conditions, but must be protected from exposure to ultraviolet light and sunlight

Administering on site

Consider the following when administering the vaccine at temporary vaccination sites.

Temperature and time constraints

  • Reduce time from preparation to administration to a minimum.
  • Protect vaccine from temperatures above 25°C and below 2°C.

Sensitivity to movement

  • Do not shake the vial.

Protect from UV and sunlight

  • Vials can be handled in room light conditions, but must be protected from exposure to ultraviolet light and sunlight.

See also

Using COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech appropriately in temporary vaccination sites

Advice on appropriately transporting, storing, preparing and administering COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech. Assumes the vaccine is received thawed.