Vaccination Information for Healthcare Professionals
Immunizations help save lives, prevent serious illnesses, and are recognized as one of the most effective public health interventions available today. Publicly funded vaccines are available to the public to reduce the burden of vaccine preventable diseases in Ontario.
Healthcare providers can order publicly funded vaccines through York Region Public Health if they meet the minimum vaccine storage and handling standards under the Ministry’s Vaccine Storage and Handling Protocol, 2018 (or as current)
- September 26, 2023 – 2023/24 Universal Influenza Immunization Program
- August 1, 2023 - Changes to COVID-19 vaccine ordering and pick-up process for Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Home, effective August 29, 2023
- COVID-19 Vaccines: Frequently Asked Questions – Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes
Older notices are posted in the Archive section below.
Vaccine Storage and Handling
Vaccines are sensitive biological substances that can lose their potency and effectiveness if they are exposed to temperatures (heat and/or cold) outside the required temperature range of +2.0ºC to +8.0ºC or when exposed to light.
Failure to adhere to specified cold chain requirements may reduce vaccine potency, resulting in lack of protection against vaccine preventable diseases.
Public health units are required by the Vaccine Storage and Handling Protocol, 2018 (or as current) under the Ontario Public Health Standards, issued under the authority of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to inspect premises, at least once annually, where publicly funded vaccines are stored. Each refrigeration unit intended for vaccine storage must be inspected before use, and annually thereafter, to ensure it meets the minimum standards.
During the cold chain maintenance inspection, York Region Public Health staff will validate the accuracy of the digital minimum-maximum thermometer installed in the vaccine storage refrigeration unit, provide education strategies to mitigate and minimize vaccine wastage, and promote vaccine safety and effectiveness.
Vaccine refrigeration units must demonstrate the ability to maintain temperatures between +2.0°C to +8.0°C before receiving publicly funded vaccines. A vaccine refrigeration unit temperature log with a minimum of the most current five (5) business days of temperature recordings must be submitted with each vaccine order form.
Any vaccine refrigeration unit temperature readings below +2.0ºC and/or above +8.0ºC must be reported to York Region Public Health immediately. Contact the Vaccine Inventory program at 1-877-464-9675 Ext. 74065 to report any vaccine exposures to temperatures below +2.0ºC and/or above +8.0ºC. Post signage on the refrigerator door to alert staff stating: "Adverse Storage Condition: Do Not Use Vaccines - Public Health Assessment in Progress". Do not administer or discard the vaccines until York Region Public Health has completed an adverse storage condition (ASC) investigation and determined viability of the exposed vaccines.
Vaccine Storage and Handling Resources
Vaccine Storage and Handling Training Videos: Register to watch instructional vaccine videos about transporting, storing and handling publicly funded vaccines.
Vaccine inventory management, including proper storage and handling of vaccines, plays a role in the success of immunization programs. By understanding and implementing proper vaccine storage and handling practices, healthcare professionals can play a critical role in improving the health of Ontarians by ensuring that administered vaccines retain their potency.
The following resources can help healthcare professionals properly store and handle publicly funded vaccines:
- Tips to Prepare for Your Annual Maintenance Cold Chain Inspection
- Thermometer Assessment - A Comparison of Vaccine Temperature Monitoring Devices
- Guide to Pre-conditioning a Cooler for Vaccine Order Pickup
- Vaccine Storage Assessment – A Comparison of the Various Types of Refrigeration Units and Suitability for Vaccine Storage
- Vaccine Storage Requirements - Vaccine Safety is Patient Safety
- Vaccine Storage – Water Bottles in the Vaccine Refrigerator
- Contingency Plan Checklists for Vaccine Storage and Handling
- Vaccine Temperature Log Book
- Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines
- Vaccine Storage and Handling Protocol, 2018
Practice Resources for Immunizers
Vaccine Specific Resources
- DTaP and Tdap Vaccines
- Reconstituting Lyophilized Vaccines with the Correct Diluent
- Instructions for Use of the GSK Diluent Ampoule for Priorix, Priorix Tetra, Varilrix Vaccines
- Tubersol/TST screening TB resource
- Uncapping Imvamune® Vials
- Ministry of Health Imvamune® Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidance
- Ontario Rotavirus Immunization Program transitioning to Rotarix® (Rot-1)
Healthcare Provider Forms
Healthcare providers who want to set up a new account to store and administer publicly funded vaccines with York Region Public Health must complete a New Healthcare Provider Application Form
Healthcare providers with an existing York Region Public Health account who need to update their account profile, contact information or status, or report a moved, replacement, or new additional vaccine refrigeration unit, must complete a Request to Update Vaccine Ordering Account Profile
Email completed forms to @email. A member of the Vaccine Inventory team will contact you with further instructions if your facility qualifies for an on-site cold chain maintenance inspection.
Vaccine Order Forms
To order publicly funded vaccines, email your completed vaccine order form to @email or fax to 905-830-0578. A vaccine refrigeration unit temperature log with a minimum of the most current five (5) business days of temperature recordings must be submitted with each vaccine order form.
If you have any general inquiries about the vaccine order form, vaccine ordering process, or status of your vaccine order request, please contact the Vaccine Inventory program at 1-877-464-9675 Ext. 74033.
Publicly Funded Vaccines Order Form for use when ordering routine publicly funded vaccines. Note: The Ministry of Health requires healthcare providers to maintain no more than a one (1) month supply of publicly funded vaccines to prevent overstocking and minimize vaccine wastage.
High-Risk Vaccines Order Form for use when ordering Hepatitis A vaccine, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, meningococcal C-ACWY-135 vaccine, multicomponent meningococcal B vaccine, Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine and Polio (IPV) vaccine for eligible high-risk individuals.
High-Risk Hepatitis B Vaccine Order Form for use when ordering Hepatitis B vaccine for eligible high-risk individuals.
Influenza Vaccine Order Form for use when ordering publicly funded influenza vaccines. Note: Order form for the Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP) 2022-2023 is currently unavailable until further notice. Please contact 1-877-464-9675 Ext. 74033 or @email for more information on influenza vaccine availability.
Grade 7 School Vaccines Order Form for use when ordering Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Meningococcal C-ACWY-135 vaccines for eligible students who are unable to receive these vaccines at a York Region Public Health community or school immunization clinic. Please encourage your patients or their parents/guardians to report doses received to York Region Public Health.
York Region Public Health school and community immunization clinics for immunizations against Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Meningococcal ACYW-135 are available for eligible students. Please encourage your patients to book an appointment at an immunization clinic online or call Access York at 1-877-464-9675 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Health care providers are uniquely positioned to answer questions, provide information, and immunize their patients against COVID-19.
If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccine storage and handling or how to onboard your facility to order COVID-19 vaccines, please contact the Vaccine Inventory program at @email or 1-877-464-9675 Ext. 50174.
Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP)
Ontario’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP) provides publicly funded influenza vaccines for individuals six months of age or older who live, work, or attend school in Ontario. The objectives of the UIIP campaign are listed below.
- Maximize the use of influenza vaccine doses purchased by Ontario
- Minimize the wastage of influenza vaccine doses purchased by Ontario
- Optimize the efficiency of influenza vaccine distribution
- Reduce impacts on the health system due to influenza in anticipation of the co-circulation of COVID-19
Additional information on influenza and the UIIP is available on the Ministry of Health’s website.
- Ministry of Health Universal Influenza Immunization Program
- NACI statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2023-2024
- September 18, 2023 - Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Letter to Health Care Providers, Re: UIIP 2023/2024
- Health Care Provider Q&A: Influenza Immunization Information for the 2023/2024 Influenza Season
- Health Care Provider Q&A: Influenza Immunization Information for individuals 6 months to 64 years of age
- Health Care Provider Q&A: Influenza Immunization Information for individuals ≥65 years of age
- Temperature Log Submission Requirements for Approved Pharmacies
- 2023-2024 Fluad® Product Monograph
- 2023-2024 Flulaval Tetra Product Monograph
- 2023-2024 Fluzone® Quadrivalent Product Monograph
- 2023-2024 Fluzone® High-Dose Quadrivalent Product Monograph
- May 11, 2023 – 2023/2024 UIIP Applications for Pharmacies with a Licensed Injection-Trained Pharmacist
- May 11, 2023 – 2023/2024 UIIP Applications for Prequalified Organizations
Expired or unviable vaccines must be immediately removed from the vaccine refrigeration unit and clearly labeled as “Wastage – Do Not Use” to prevent the administration of expired or non-viable products to patients. Note: Vaccines without a specified date of expiry (Example: MR 2023) are viable until the last day of the month (Example: March 31, 2023).
With the exception of wasted or expired COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine wastage should be returned to York Region Public Health with a completed Non-Reusable Vaccines Wastage Form for Health Care Providers Form.
All vaccine wastage returns must be accompanied with a completed wastage form. Do not return other drugs (e.g., antibiotics, antivirals, birth control, etc.) or medical or blood products (e.g., lab specimen kits, syringes, needles, etc.) that were not distributed by the Vaccine Inventory program.
Do not return COVID-19 vaccines to York Region Public Health. These doses must be documented as wastage on COVaxON and must be reported to York Region Public Health using the Vaccine Reporting Tool (Geocortex).
Wasted or expired COVID-19 vaccine doses, either in punctured or unpunctured vials, should be disposed of at your facility per regulation and guidelines from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change:
- Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.19, Regulation 347
- C-4: The Management of Biomedical Waste In Ontario
- Registration Guidance Manual for Generators of Liquid Industrial and Hazardous Waste
Vaccine Order Pickup Locations and Hours of Operation
Healthcare professionals will receive a notification by telephone or email once a vaccine order is ready for pick up. Vaccine orders may be picked up from one of the following locations:
- 17150 Yonge Street, Newmarket (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
- 50 High Tech Road, Richmond Hill (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
- 24262 Woodbine Avenue, Georgina (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
- 9060 Jane Street, Vaughan (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
- 4261 Highway 7 East, Markham (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
Vaccine transport coolers must be pre-conditioned between +2.0°C to +8.0°C before vaccine pickup. York Region staff will verify that the vaccine transport cooler temperature is within +2.0°C to +8.0°C before releasing a vaccine order.
Vaccine Recall Information
There are no vaccine recalls at this time.
Reporting an Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI)
An AEFI is an event or reaction that occurs following immunization that may or may not be caused by the vaccine. Healthcare professionals are required to report AEFIs to York Region Public Health under the Health Promotion and Protection Act.
Consult the Public Health Ontario AEFI Factsheet for more information about AEFIs and when they should be reported.
To report an AEFI, complete a Report of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) Form and fax the completed form to York Region Public Health at 905-898-5213. You may also call our Nurse’s Line at 1-877-464-9675, Ext. 73452.
York Region Community and Health Services offer regularly scheduled community immunization clinics where both mandatory and voluntary vaccines are available to York Region school-aged children. For more information, visit Immunization Clinics.
Archive of Notices
- September 20, 2022 – Public Health Ontario releases Hepatitis B Vaccine Resource to Aid with Immunizations
- October 29, 2021 - Eligibility for Routine Age/Grade-based Vaccines Extended
- July 22, 2021 – Ontario Rotavirus Immunization Program transitioning to Rotarix® (Rot-1)
- November 4, 2020 - Grade 7 Immunization Program Transition to Nimenrix® Meningococcal Vaccine
- September 29, 2020 - Shingles Vaccine Transitions from Zostavax II to Shingrix
- April 5, 2019 - We Heard You – Vaccine Inventory Satisfaction Survey Results
- April 11, 2018 – Launch of new instructional videos on correct transport, storage and handling of publicly-funded vaccines