Animal Health

Key Elements of an Animal Vaccine Supply Chain

Few things touch our hearts more than the health and well-being of our animals. Vaccines are a major part of keeping them healthy and happy. When companies create an animal vaccine and subsequently develop the supporting supply chain to transfer, store, and distribute the medicine; these key processes can be discounted because these are crucial elements of keeping vaccines viable and safe for animals. From the time a vaccine leaves the manufacturer to the time it’s actively injected into an animal, there’s a lot that can happen to adulterate, inactivate or contaminate a vaccine.

One of the first pieces of information necessary in creating a robust supply chain is identifying the type of vaccine that’s being stored and transported. Typical vaccines used in veterinary medicine include modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines, killed and adjuvanted vaccine combinations, and recombinant vaccines. There are many variables that play a part in maintaining the SISPQ ( Safety, Integrity, Strength, Purity and Quality) of any drug throughout its usable lifecycle. This is especially true when these drugs are vaccines, which are often even more sensitive to the impacts of temperature, photodegradation , and other chemical reactions that can be triggered by the environment. These factors can have a very adverse impact on drug stability and efficacy. There are a lot of variables to consider, not only with the type of vaccine being transferred, but also in terms of different conditions and regulatory requirements for each drug, such as monitoring, safety, trackability, and ensuring it is all auditable/ recoverable data (i.e., temperature monitoring/ data/ light exposure).


There are several elements to take into consideration when storing animal vaccines. In addition to properly discerning the different types of vaccines and requirements for temperatures, you also have to consider light exposure, which can also render vaccines ineffective. Nearly all vaccines used in small and large animal veterinary medicine, including lyophilized (freeze-dried) and liquid forms, must be stored in the dark between 2-8 degrees C. They must also be stored in a refrigerator that has been qualified for use via temperature mapping validations to “prove” proper storage configurations, monitoring real-time, temperature/alarm excursion data.

One interesting misconception about this supply chain is that if a vaccine is stored colder than the guidelines, it will be fine. This couldn’t be further from the truth; the American Association of Feline Practitioners found that too cold temperatures could also adversely affect vaccines.


When transporting animal vaccines, the cold chain must be maintained. Vaccines should be kept in an insulated cooler and ice packs or refrigerated packs should be used to maintain the storage temperatures, all while using a temperature tracking device to ensure there were no excursions during shipment.

Use of Traceability Data

A drug supply-chain doesn’t stop at delivery. An experienced logistics’ partner that knows this industry well often suggests the supply-chain for pharmaceuticals ends at the point the drug is consumed by the patient/ animal or administered by the doctor, NP or veterinarian. Your transportation partner and the supply-chain itself need to be auditable by regulatory bodies to maintain that the drugs are not adulterated/ redirected, that counterfeit product isn’t entering the pipeline, and allow for an effective recall process if necessary.

When dealing with the lives of pets and other animals, it’s critical that vaccines remain safe and viable. That’s why it’s important to partner with a 3PL who not only respects the safety it is providing to animals but also understands every nuance of the unique animal vaccines cold chain. If you are looking to partner with someone to store and transport your vaccines, contact Langham Logistics today.

You might also like:

How Langham Logistics is Using Tech to Optimize Transportation
Will Elon Musk and the Self-Driving Truck Save Shipping?