Vaccine Packaging for COVID-19

Vaccine Packaging

With everything going on due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, vaccines have been a topic of conversation amongst companies and consumers. While a consumer sees the final product of the needle and syringe going into their arm, they may not know all the complex protocol it takes to get the vaccine to this point. 

What are some of the considerations for vaccine packaging? 

  • Temperature-controlled packaging
  • Labeling
  • Strict supply chain procedures

Temperature Controlled Packaging

Packaging that can keep vaccines at their extremely low temperature while in transit is very important. Each vaccine has different regulations and requirements when it comes to the specific temperature it needs to stay at. Some vaccines need to stay as low as 43°C for a period of at least 48 hours while in transit and need to be stored at 8°C (however this can vary).

Vaccines usually contain temperature monitors to document whether conditions have exceeded the temperature to which vaccines need to be refrigerated at. This notifies the recipients if the vaccines have been damaged. It also provides insight in what part of the supply chain the temperature changes occurred to prevent future shipping damages and for insurance purposes.

We offer a styrofoam alternative to the traditional thermal cooler that can be used to keep vaccines at their required temperature for 48 hours.

Click here to learn more about our sustainable thermal cooler.

The designs for Pioneer Packaging's sustainable coolers


There are 3 different labeling requirements involved with vaccine packaging and all of them serve a different purpose. They include labels on the primary packaging, secondary packaging, and tertiary packaging.

  • Primary Packaging – is the actual vial itself; the first level of packaging the substance touches. Labeling is required on the primary packaging to identify the substance.
  • Secondary Packaging – the packaging that contains the vial. The labeling should include what the box contains. The secondary packaging should have information that includes name of the manufacturer, batch number, expiration date, storage conditions, etc. 
  • Tertiary Packaging – the outer box, the shipping container that includes the secondary package. This should be clearly labeled for transport instructions. 

Strict Supply Chain Procedures

Since vaccines are so precarious, some of the supply chain requirements are:

  • Kept at the appropriate temperature regulations
  • Vaccines should take direct routes. If no direct routes are available, go through airports that have cold facilities
  • Arrival dates should be scheduled on business days
  • Cannot be transported with radioactive products, fish, or meat
  • Approval by respective agencies 
  • To see all regulatory requirements, click here

At Pioneer Packaging, we can help you and your company navigate through the complexities of shipping medical products. Contact us today to see how we can partner with you. 

*Disclaimer – The information above does not highlight all requirements for vaccines in detail. Please use a certified source when fulfilling the requirements.

Scroll to Top