November 14, 2022
This Season’s Influenza Vaccine Temperature Monitoring Guidelines
Did you know that there are over 100 different types and subtypes of flu strains that affect people across the world? The good news is that flu vaccines can go a long way when it comes to helping people prevent getting the virus.
However, you will need to properly store your flu season vaccines in order for them to be effective. Although storing vaccines can seem complicated at first, it’s not quite as complex as many people believe.
Let’s take a look at some of the key factors you need to keep in mind about vaccine temperature monitoring.
So What Is Vaccine Temperature Monitoring?
As this name suggests, is the process of ensuring that your vaccines are kept at the right temperature. This is crucial when it comes to maintaining efficacy.
For example, if you expose a vaccine to temperatures that are too hot or too cold, it could prevent them from working correctly. This means that someone who received the vaccine would still be at risk of contracting the influenza virus.
What Temperature Should I Store the Vaccine Act?
Facilities that store influenza vaccines must keep them in a refrigerator that is no warmer than 46°F and no cooler than 35°F (2°C to 8°C).
It’s crucial to keep in mind that you should never store a vaccine in freezing temperatures. This can severely damage the vaccine itself and prevent it from working correctly.
The good news is that maintaining these temperatures is a fairly easy process that medical facilities should not have issues with. You should also keep the vaccine in the center of the refrigerator.
This will ensure that you keep it away from the freezer compartment and the back wall. These areas of the refrigerator are generally much colder than the center.
You should also avoid storing vaccines in the door of the refrigerator. This is simply due to the fact that the vaccine would experience changes in temperature every time the door is opened.
What Else Can I Do to Maintain Temperature?
It’s crucial to safeguard the refrigerator’s electrical supply. In the event that there is a loss of power, the integrity of the vaccine would be at risk.
You should also properly label the power circuit of the facility so that everyone on the premises understands how power is directed to the refrigerator.
What About Shipping a Vaccine?
You should never ship a vaccine that is not stored within an insulated container. Ice packs should also be placed on the top and bottom of the container in order to maintain the right temperature. You should also wrap these ice packs with heavy wrapping paper so that they do not come into direct contact with the boxes or vials that the vaccine is stored within.
Put simply, the vaccine can never touch ice at any point during the shipping process. Doing so would result in it being rendered useless.
Of course, there should be a thermometer inside the shipping container. When the container arrives at its destination, the recipient should check this thermometer to ensure that the environment has the proper temperatures for vaccine storage.
This will go a long way when it comes to preventing issues in the future.
What Are Common Mistakes People Make?
One of the biggest mistakes adequate professionals make is assuming that a vaccine cannot be salvaged. The truth is that it is possible on occasion. For instance, if a vaccine experienced a temperature variation for only a short period of time, it may still be effective.
In contrast, a longer variation in temperature may be a bigger issue. Another mistake is not recording the temperature inside the refrigerator when you discover a problem.
For instance, you may open the refrigerator to find that the temperature is 55°F. You should record this information and then mark the affected vaccine containers. it’s not uncommon to discover a vaccine within an inhospitable environment.
If you find yourself in this situation, transfer the vaccine to a safe environment as soon as possible. You should also record the length of time the vaccine was in a poor environment. Finally, those who handle vaccines often forget to contact the vaccine manufacturer when a problem arises.
They will be able to provide you with the correct course of action based on your situation. This is why it’s so important to record the relevant information about the vaccine’s temperature storage. Otherwise, they may not be able to help you as well as they could have.
How Can I Better Monitor Vaccine Temperature?
One of the best ways you can do so is to use a continuous temperature monitoring refrigerator. This is a medical-grade refrigerator that provides a significant amount of information to medical professionals.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using one.
Access to Comprehensive Data
As you might assume, this is one of the most important benefits to keep in mind.
Having access to temperature data allows you to beware of minute changes in temperature. In context, you will get an alert if the temperature changes outside the established parameters. This will give you the opportunity to resolve the situation before it gets out of control.
In many cases, it can mean the difference between whether or not you are able to save the affected vaccines.
You Can Minimize the Risk to Your Reputation
Unfortunately, improper storage can have a significant impact on your reputation. If your facility becomes known for its negligence, you will experience a large number of issues in the future.
For instance, it could affect your ability to secure funding. It may also affect your professional relationships with others in the industry. In many situations, this can be difficult or even impossible to recover from.
So, take this into consideration when moving forward.
You Can Prevent False Alarms
It’s no secret that false alarms can cost you plenty of time and money in a medical setting.
For example, imagine if you misread or miscalculated the temperature of vaccines in your refrigerator. This could lead to the discarding of vaccines that were otherwise usable.
A temperature-monitoring refrigerator can eliminate false alarms. To clarify, many facilities will have an alarm that sounds if somebody opens a conventional refrigerator.
However, this type of refrigerator will allow you to set an alarm that goes off if somebody leaves the refrigerator open for a certain amount of time.
When you remove the chance of human error, validation becomes much easier.
In practice, this can save you a significant amount of time. You can then reinvest this time toward other vaccine-related responsibilities.
It will also help you maintain consistency as time goes on.
Streamlined Inventory Management
In the event that vaccines become ruined, it can throw off your entire inventory.
This can make it difficult to meet target metrics. It could also cause you to scramble to replace the affected products.
This type of refrigerator will make sure that this becomes a nonissue in the future. This is something that you can’t overlook; even a single incident could have lasting consequences.
Reduced Medical Waste
It is the responsibility of every medical facility to minimize medical waste. The substances are harmful to the environment, and wasted materials often equate to a lesser patient experience. Temperature monitoring lets you avoid this situation.
So, the facility can reduce its environmental impact by a large margin.
What Are the Risks of Improper Monitoring?
There are substantial risks associated with improper monitoring. As previously mentioned, you could experience damage to your reputation. However, you could also experience a substantial loss in product.
It’s not impossible for hundreds or even thousands of vaccines to become unusable. Not only will this cause problems within your facility, but it will also affect those in need of vaccines. Put simply; improper monitoring is something that should avoid at all costs.
How Do These Refrigerators Work?
There are a few different ways that these refrigerators can work. For example, some people choose to use waterproof sensors or high-accuracy sensors. Others choose to use sensors with probes.
In general, though, the sensors will read the temperature of the refrigerator once after a certain interval. In the event that the temperature reads outside the parameters, the device will alert you. These refrigerators can also archive the data so that you can access it later.
How Can I Get Started?
Interestingly, many people overlook how important it is to check the professional’s past reputation. You will gain insight into what you can expect by checking what previous customers have had to say.
You should avoid working with professionals who do not have a proven track record. Take note of any consistencies in the reviews good or bad.
Additionally, you should only work with someone who has significant experience in the industry.
It’s a risky maneuver to work with someone who is not established in their industry. Although working with a less experienced provider isn’t guaranteed to have poor results, you will be less likely to reach your goals.
A great way to look into this is by booking a consultation. This will give you all the information you need about how they operate and the type of outcome you will receive.
As you might guess, you should prioritize companies that work with people like you. It’s crucial to avoid hiring the wrong person at all costs. They likely won’t understand your needs and will have trouble helping you reach your target metrics.
Another factor to consider is the price. This can extensively help you plan your budget. After all, it’s in your best interest to avoid financial surprises.
How comfortable are you communicating with them? Only work with people who are willing to put your needs first. You may find yourself needing support in the future. If it isn’t easy for you to get in touch with them, should continue your search elsewhere.
How Do I Choose the Refrigerator Right for Me?
This can seem like a daunting responsibility at first. However, making the right decision isn’t something that you need to be intimidated by. Above all else, you should consider your main problem areas.
Do you need more precise temperature monitoring? Do you need to be able to remotely access the refrigerators at your facility? Or, do you need a comprehensive archive of temperature monitoring data?
You may even need all of the above. Understanding this information will help you make the decision that is best for you.
Of course, the type of provider you choose to purchase from will go a long way when determining quality. Keep in mind that you often get what you pay for. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to choose the most expensive refrigerator, though.
However, it does mean that you should avoid selecting the cheapest possible option. This will leave you with a device that is likely to break or malfunction.
Even a single situation like this could cost you a significant amount of time and resources. For example, if your refrigerator malfunctions, you may not be alerted if the temperature changes to a value outside of your chosen parameters.
Vaccine Temperature Monitoring Is Easier Than It Seems
Although it can seem overwhelming to handle at first, vaccine temperature monitoring is fairly straightforward. Just be sure to keep the above details in mind so that you can avoid common mistakes that you may have otherwise encountered.
Want to learn more about what we can do? Be sure to reach out to us today and see how we can help you.