Temperature-sensitive health products in the Expanded Programme on Immunization cold chain


The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reiterate the value of safe, feasible, and cost-effective integration of temperature-sensitive health products into Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) health supply chains. Past policies from both organizations have allowed the possibility of converging supply chains. This statement provides further clarity by explicitly allowing convergence if feasible, cost-effective, and safe. This joint statement also supports the United Nations (UN) Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children. To that end, WHO and UNICEF: 1. Reiterate that safe, properly organized integration of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals is allowed when feasible and cost-effective. 2. Call on countries and partners to integrate temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products into the vaccine cold chain where safe and feasible and to document integration experiences as evidence for future policies and guidance. 3. Recommend universal adoption of best storage and labeling practices as a precondition to integration to clearly distinguish non-vaccine products from vaccines and diluents