How to store vaccines safely Mar 09, 2022
With the advent of the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, human beings have to coexist with the new coronavirus. It's time for healthcare facilities to pay close attention to their refrigeration equipment for vaccine storage and temperature monitoring. This article summarizes their advice on how to store Covid-19 vaccines safely.

How to Choose a Vaccine Refrigerator for Safe Vaccine Storage
Vaccine storage temperature is determined by the manufacturer. Typically, most refrigerated vaccines must be stored between 2⁰ and 8⁰C. Frozen vaccines should be stored between -50⁰ and -15⁰C.

The first guideline for VFC-compliant vaccine storage is that the refrigeration system does not allow temperatures above or below recommended storage temperatures. Set your refrigerator or freezer thermostat to the factory setting or midpoint temperature, which will reduce the chance of temperature excursions.

That's because over the years, when refrigerators used to store vaccines fail to keep vaccines at recommended temperatures, huge financial losses can occur.

These temperature excursions can cause vaccines to lose efficacy. In addition to the financial loss, there is the inconvenience of calling patients back for re-vaccination without compromise.

For example, Carmen Heredia Rodriguez of Kaiser Health News published an article in February 2019 titled "Vaccines are sometimes stored improperly, reducing their effectiveness." This article covers temperature control events in California and Indiana.

The most important thing to store vaccines is to use separate vaccine refrigerators and freezers. That's because they hold the desired temperature better than a combination refrigerator/freezer. The exception is a combination vaccine refrigerator and freezer if each compartment has its own compressor, thermostat and exterior door.

The organization notes that stand-alone units can range in size from pharmaceutical-grade compact, above- or below-counter units to full-size units. Home refrigerators are not recommended under any circumstances. The CDC even said that such devices are prohibited from being used to store VFCs or other vaccines purchased with public funds.

Vaccine Storage Tips
Regardless of the capacity of your vaccine refrigerator or freezer, there are a few "must dos" to keep in mind:

A full unit will hold the temperature better, but don't overfill. Leave room for air circulation.

Replace the removed refrigerator stock with a pre-chilled water bottle.

Replace the removed freezer with a chilled water bottle.

Allow space for circulation between containers and keep contents 2-3 inches from the walls and back of the unit.

Post notes that food and beverages have no place in the vaccine storage unit.

Keep contents in original packaging with expiry date up front.

If your unit has door racks, fill them with frozen or frozen water bottles, not vaccines.

Vaccine temperature is better. Designate a person to perform this task. It also provides an opportunity to monitor vaccine stocks.

Contact the scientists at China Medical Refrigerator Manufacturer thchamber to learn more about choosing the right vaccine refrigerator equipment for your practice.

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