Developed jointly by UNICEF and WHO, the Immunization eLearning Initiative provides all immunization staff with access to training in areas deemed vital to the advancement of the Global Vaccine Action Plan and its vision that everyone live a life free from vaccine preventable disease.

Today, millions of vaccine vials are distributed, stored and administered around the world along the cold chain. A break in this cold chain can leave vaccines ineffective or unsafe. In the past, health workers were trained to discard all vaccines after a suspected break in the cold chain, often wasting large amounts of usable vaccine. Now, they can rely on vaccine vial monitors (or VVMs) to determine whether a vaccine is safe to use. VVMs also help health care workers decide which vaccine to use first when vials have been exposed to different temperatures. In addition, VVM is a tool for deciding which multi-dose vials can be kept and used for future immunization sessions. This course reviews the effect of heat exposure on vaccines, and demonstrate how to interpret and use VVMs in different situations.

Learning objectives

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the impact that heat can have on vaccines
  • Interpret VVMs to identify vaccines that can and cannot be used
  • Sort vaccines based on their type and VVM category
  • Use VVMs to apply the Multi-Dose Vial Policy


This course is intended for health workers and staff responsible for in-country vaccine management or outreach operations. It also intended for in-country staff responsible for advising or supervising health workers who work with vaccines, as well as consultants and partners working in support of immunization.


This course consists of one module with a total duration of approximately 20 minutes. 


This course is comprised of one self-paced e-learning module. It features animated tutorials and integrated knowledge assessments authored by subject matter experts.


This course includes one module organized in six sections:

  • Introduction: The need for VVMs
  • How to interpret VVMs
  • Four types of vaccines and VVMs
  • Using VVMs to interpret the MDVP
  • Benefits of VVMs
  • Conclusion

Contact details

For questions or feedback on this programme, please contact Ousmane Tamba Dia, Senior Immunization Specialist at