A Guide to Vaccine Storage
Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities necessitate proper vaccine storage units to prevent vaccine wastage. Excessive vaccine disposal harms the facility’s bottom line as well as the public’s general health, and access to preventative care and immunizations. Vaccine storage considerations commence during the early chemical stages of manufacturing in labs. Subsequently, vaccines must be carefully stored in designated vaccine freezers or refrigerators, including during transportation.
Without diligent vaccine storage considerations, from the manufacturing to the final patient injection, the public’s general health and well-being can be negatively impacted. Here is a guide to proper vaccine storage for your healthcare facility.
1. Prevent Vaccine Storage Errors
Preventing vaccine storage errors is the responsibility of everyone who handles or interacts with the medicine. There are a few common vaccine storage errors that are easily preventable and should be addressed within healthcare facilities on a regular basis.
Putting a Single Person in Charge
It takes an entire team to ensure vaccines are kept safe. Putting a single person in charge of your vaccine freezers or storage units risks errors by giving too much responsibility to one person. If they are out, sick or leave the clinic, you will need to find a replacement quickly. Having a team to take responsibility for vaccines promotes accountability, compliance checks and overall safety throughout the facility.
Improperly Storing Vaccines
Vaccine refrigerators are common units to store medicine in. However, some vaccines need to be frozen and not refrigerated. Do not assume every vaccine is the same and needs the same temperature. Installing a temperature monitoring device can ensure your supply is safe and kept at a consistent, compliant temperature, whether it is in a vaccine refrigerator or freezer.
Not Sealing the Door
Just as with your fridge and freezer at home, vaccine freezers and refrigerators need to be properly sealed. Temperature sensors and door monitors can alert you if you forget to completely seal the door to your vaccine storage unit. This will help reduce unnecessary vaccine wastage.
2. Implement a Temperature Monitoring Device
Proper vaccine storage requires accurate and consistent temperature monitoring. Storing vaccines at temperatures that are either too warm or too cold can result in a loss of efficacy and pose a safety risk for patients. Placing a temperature monitoring device in vaccine freezers or refrigerators can alleviate this risk. Once placed it can constantly track the temperature in your unit.
Wireless temperature monitoring devices enable facilities to keep vaccines safe without needing to continuously check on the storage unit. The Law requires healthcare providers to store vaccines at specific temperatures and track their statuses using a temperature monitoring device to mitigate vaccine wastage and ensure the safety of vaccines. A wireless WiFi data logger can alert you by text or email 24/7 of out-of-range temperatures.
3. Vaccine Transportation Considerations
Additional vaccine storage requirements and considerations take place during vaccine transportation. Transporting supplies from labs to clinics and hospitals requires maintaining them in temperature-controlled environments. Clinics and hospitals hold cold chain operations to the same standards and requirements. The delivery of medicine and vaccines includes special vaccine coolers and transport kits that maintain critical temperatures at all stages of vaccine handling.
4. Protect Your Supply
Vaccine storage and transportation necessitate accurate temperature monitoring and equipment that protects supplies for patients. Preventing vaccine wastage protects healthcare facilities as well as the health of the local population. Immunizations are key to protecting the public and providing healthcare to everyone, and that starts with careful vaccine storage considerations and precautions.
Keep your vaccine freezers and refrigerators compliant and stocked with a temperature monitoring device that tracks the status and temperature of your unit. Successful vaccine delivery starts with you.