COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit: Operational Considerations for Healthcare Practitioners

Our COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Guides bring to the front lines of the vaccination effort operational strategies assembled in a single resource to address potential efficiency gaps while maintaining safety and quality. The goal is to help build public trust, get more shots in arms and end the pandemic.

International COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Guide:

  • USP’s International COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Guide debuted in July 2021 and was updated in September 2021 for use outside the U.S. It is based on the COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit and includes:
  • Information related to several COVID-19 vaccines used internationally
  • Operational considerations around handling, storage, and transport of COVID-19 vaccines utilized in geographies outside the U.S.
  • Supplemental content includes a Visual Inspection Guide to help identify falsified COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Updates in new version include considerations maintaining temperatures during vaccine transport, additional mitigating strategies to avoid vaccine mix-ups, and updated information on geographically specific COVID-19 vaccines

U.S. COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit:

First published in January 2021 and revised in June 2021. The COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit is updated as new information becomes available and additional vaccines are authorized in the U.S. The most recent revisions include:

  • Considerations for maximizing doses from recently authorized, larger-size Moderna vials, similar to those in USP’s related Pfizer-BioNTech max dose guide
  • Expanded storage time for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine vials and beyond-use date information for the Moderna vaccine, to facilitate inventory management
  • Guides and FAQs that help safely and efficiently prepare and transport the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines, and ensure vaccine integrity
  • Strategies to pre-draw and transport syringes for use at different locations by different individuals, as cited in CDC guidance, while supporting quality and trust
  • Supplemental content includes a Visual Inspection Guide to help identify falsified COVID-19 Vaccines

Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit & International Guide

Complete the form for immediate access to the US Toolkit and supporting resources, and the International Guide.

Since its initial release in January 2021, the Toolkit has helped stakeholders:

  • Accelerate the pace of vaccinations
  • Prevent waste while maintaining quality
  • Build confidence in becoming a vaccine administrator
  • Increase available doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine alone by an estimated 20 percent in the U.S.

More than 76,000 COVID-19 vaccine network providers across the U.S. at large chain and independent pharmacies, hospitals and public health entities have received the Toolkit.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit is an informational resource and is intended to complement other available resources. In the U.S. these include the following resources as well as those provided by the CDC, U.S. FDA, vaccine manufacturers, and state and local departments of health:

For more information, please contact

For over 200 years, USP has worked to build trust where it matters most: in the world's medicines, dietary supplements and foods. Through our rigorous science and the public quality standards we set, USP helps protect patient safety and improve the health of people around the world. Excerpted USP-NF Standards referenced in the USP COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit are available here.