Vaccine information for health professionals

Ottawa Public Health distributes vaccines available through public funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Information on these vaccines is available on the Ministry of Health website:

Procedures for vaccine orders and pick ups

Anyone picking up a vaccine order from Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is required to bring along their own cooler and ice packs. Most offices have already been issued a cooler by OPH, and are kindly asked to bring it for every vaccine pick up. Please note that each office will only be supplied with one cooler. Offices that do not comply with this new procedure will not receive their vaccine order.

Please note, offices using Accuro or Biotest courier services to deliver their vaccines are not affected by this change in procedure.

If you or your staff have any questions regarding this procedure, please contact the Ottawa Public Health Vaccine Distribution Centre at 613-580-6744, ext. 24225.

Important vaccine storage and handling information

Exposure to light, frozen or overheated vaccines may lead to patients experiencing a reduced immune response and/or an increase in local reactions. To avoid unnecessary vaccine wastage you should:

  • Ensure refrigerator temperatures are maintained between 2° to 8° C
    • In cases of power failures, refrigerator doors being left open, frequent opening of the refrigerator doors during clinic hours, or refrigerator malfunction that compromises the cold chain, call Ottawa Public Health 613-580-6744 and ask to be directed to the Vaccine Distribution Centre. A Vaccine Program Coordinator will assess the situation and provide you with further instructions
  • Never administer or discard exposed vaccine. Leave it in the refrigerator, and mark it as having been potentially exposed. Do not use it until the Vaccine Program Coordinator has assessed the situation.
  • Ensure your office vaccine refrigerator is not overstocked, as this may cause temperatures to fluctuate or doors to become ajar
  • Defrost the freezer regularly, as excessive ice build-up can cause temperature fluctuations

Feel free to contact OPH for further information on how to maintain a safe cold chain.

Your ongoing support to maintain the vaccine cold chain will ultimately ensure that potent vaccine is administered to your patients.

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