Policies and Procedures - Vaccine Loss Due to Disaster


​Policies and Procedures: Vaccine Loss Due to Disaster

The information below summarizes the policies and processes of vaccine manufacturers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccines for Children Program related to vaccine loss due to a natural disaster in the U.S. and/or Puerto Rico. Pediatricians are encouraged to hold on to any vaccine product, not to throw it away or destroy it, and to submit an insurance claim as a first step. Private vaccine manufacturers need to see that a product is not covered under insurance before providing a credit or replacing it. Private vaccine manufacturers will usually offer a partial or full credit for vaccines lost by hurricanes for offices that meet certain conditions, but any questions should be directed to the manufacturers.

Merck offers a Disaster Relief Returns Program. Information can be accessed from the bottom of the Merck Web site home page (www.merckvaccines.com) or directly at https://www.merckvaccines.com/DisasterRelief/Pages/home. Additionally, customers can call the Merck Vaccine Customer Center at 877.VAX.MERCK to speak to a company representative for further guidance. This guidance applies for customers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Pfizer has a policy in place in the event of a natural disaster. Circumstances will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Providers can contact Pfizer Customer Service at 1-800-666-7248 to review specific circumstances. We ask that providers contact Pfizer at their earliest convenience. This guidance applies for customers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Sanofi Pasteur
Sanofi Pasteur has a policy related to natural disasters and hazardous events. If a provider purchased a vaccine directly through Sanofi, the provider should contact 1-800-VACCINE, and a customer service representative can help them thru the process. Providers have multiple options available to them to recoup costs related to lost vaccines and maximize returns. Providers who hold onto a vaccine product and return it once expired or opt to return a vaccine product prior to the expiration date will receive a 100% credit. If a vaccine product has been lost completely and is therefore unreturnable, a provider can document this in a written communication to Sanofi. If a provider purchased a vaccine indirectly through a wholesaler/distributor or received vaccine via CDC's Vaccine For Children program distribution channels, please reach out to that respective source.

Information from GSK is pending.

Vaccines for Children Program
Pediatricians are encouraged to contact their state immunization program. A list of Immunization Program Manager contacts can be found here: https://www.immunizationmanagers.org/page/MemPage.


Updated September 2018

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