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AI Medical – Vaccine Storage and Handling
September 21, 2020
AI Medical – Vaccine Storage and Handling

Why Proper Storage and Handling of Vaccine is Vital?

The storage of vaccines at a recommended temperature range is critical to ensure the quality, integrity, and safety of vaccines. Exposure to inappropriate temperatures out of the recommended vaccine storage ranges reduces the potency of vaccines and decreases their effectiveness and protection they offer significantly.

Errors in storage and handling often cost the loss of thousands of dollars. Such errors also result in patient’s confidence loss in your vaccine and services due to repeated vaccine dosage requirements. So it is better not to give a vaccine dose to the patient than administrating a mishandled vaccine.

Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines Following CDC Standards

You have to follow the CDC Standards for proper vaccine storage and handling from manufacturing to administration to save your vaccines from potential efficacy loss and wastage. Assuring the quality of vaccine and maintenance of the cold chain is a responsibility shared among manufacturers, vaccine distributors, suppliers, healthcare staff, and healthcare providers.

Best Practices for Monitoring Refrigerated and Frozen Vaccines Temperature

For Refrigerated Vaccines

As per the CDC Standards, the following are the best practices for monitoring refrigerated vaccines temperature:

  • Store refrigerated vaccines at 40 degrees F and 5 degrees C
  • Never put refrigerated vaccines in a freezer except for MMR
  • Immediately report when the temperature is out of range
  • Record temperature on a daily basis
  • Check the minimum and maximum temperature at the beginning of the workday
  • Check recent temperature whenever you open the refrigerator to access vaccines
  • In case of out of range temperatures, immediately get in touch with local or state health department or call manufacturers directly for private vaccines. Communicate the total time for which the vaccines remained in out of range temperature conditions.

For Frozen Vaccines

As per the CDC Standards, the following are the best practices for monitoring frozen vaccines temperature:

  • Keep the thermostat setting at the mid-point temperature or factory set setting (-58 degree F to 5 degrees F setting or -50 degree C to -15 degree C setting)
  • Immediately report when the temperature is out of range
  • Record temperature on a daily basis
  • Check the minimum and maximum temperature at the beginning of the workday
  • Check recent temperature whenever you open the refrigerator to access vaccines
  • In case of out of range temperatures, immediately get in touch with local or state health department or call manufacturers directly for private vaccines. Communicate the total time for which the vaccines remained in out of range temperature conditions.

Best Practices for Storage of Refrigerated and Frozen Vaccines

For refrigerated Vaccines

  • Immediately unpack vaccines and place them in suitable storage containers or trays to allow proper airflow
  • Put vaccines with early expiry in front
  • Limit exposure to light by keeping vaccines in their original boxes
  • Separate vaccines and label them by type and private or public vaccine
  • Store refrigerated vaccines at 40 degrees F and 5 degrees C
  • Ensure that the refrigerator door is closed correctly
  • Use water bottles instead of crisper bins to help in the maintenance of consistent temperature
  • Label ‘Do not drink’ on water bottles
  • Always leave a gap of 2-3 inches between refrigerator walls and vaccine containers
  • Place ‘Do not unplug’ sign on the refrigerator and nearby electrical outlet
  • Do not store vaccines in a dormitory-style refrigerator

For Frozen Vaccines

  • Immediately unpack vaccines and place them in suitable storage containers or trays to allow proper airflow
  • Put vaccines with early expiry in front
  • Limit exposure to light by keeping vaccines in their original boxes
  • Separate vaccines and label them by type and private or public vaccine
  • Keep the thermostat setting at the mid-point temperature or factory set setting (-58 degree F to 5 degrees F setting or -50 degree C to -15 degree C setting)
  • Ensure that the freezer door is closed correctly
  • Use water bottles instead of crisper bins to help in the maintenance of consistent temperature
  • Label ‘Do not drink’ on water bottles
  • Always leave a gap of 2-3 inches between freezer walls and vaccine containers
  • Place ‘Do not unplug’ sign on the freezer and nearby electrical outlet
  • Do not store vaccines in a dormitory-style freezer