Shipping Vaccines: How to Know if the Vaccine Temperature is SafeLast reviewed: July 18, 2022
The answer to this is not always cut and dry. But here are some guidelines I have followed that have helped me when it comes to vaccine shipping.
A vaccine is quite stable in the freeze dried form. There have been cases when a vaccine was held at 78 degrees F for six months (Intervet -- 5 way and Parvo) and it was fine, but it was kept at a constant temperature. Constant temperature is not so easy in shipping!
The biggest concern is when a shipping truck gets warm and cold. That is why ice packs and coolers are used to mitigate that temperature swing without freezing the vaccine. Freezing will shorten the shelf life.
When a vaccine comes with ice packs that have melted, the vaccine should still be good as long as the ice packs did their job creating constant shipping temperatures. Dog and cat vaccines from Revival are shipped to your doorstep using specially designed polar boxes that have been extensively tested to make sure your pet's vaccines stay cool inside for 48 hours.
One trick I use is to hold the vaccine to my cheek, and if it is cool I know the vaccine is still good. If it is cool to the touch of my cheek I know the ice packs kept the vaccine under room temperature and the vaccine stable. I am comfortable using the vaccine in these cases.
Your cheek is a pretty good indicator as it is sensitive to temperatures and more accurate than your hand. You may also use the underside of your arm, as that tissue is tender and sensitive as well.
If I hold the vaccine to my cheek and it is hot- I replace it. It is not worth the risk of using when vaccinating.
Have more questions on cat and dog vaccine shipping? Call our Pet Care Pros at 800.786.4751. They have the experience and knowledge to help you manage and prevent pet care challenges.
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival's Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.
Watch How Our Warehouse Handles and Packages Your VaccinesWatch the video below and see how we store and package vaccines, including why we place the ice pack on top.
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The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.