To make sure that vaccines remain effective with as little wastage as possible, a policy of managing opened vials is needed. Opened vials can be used to withdraw a number of doses if they are stored correctly.
Open vials of DPT, DT, TT, HepB and OPV may be stored for up to 1 month provided the expiry date is not past, cold chain conditions have been maintained, and aseptic technique is used to withdraw doses.
Open vials of combined DPT and Hib vaccine can be kept for 7 days if the above conditions are met and the vaccine vial monitor has not reached discard point.
Open vials of measles and BCG must not be kept for more than 6 hours.
All opened vials must be discarded immediately if the asceptic procedures have not been followed or there is any suspicion that the vial is contaminated (a change in the normal appearance of the vaccine).
See the summary of the scheduled vaccines at the end of this unit.