The vaccine tracking system is a very important issue for herd immunity. It is a significant topic that vaccines should be stored in a certain temperature range. However, vaccines that are effective against Covid 19 are different from others regarding temperature values. Covid 19 vaccines, which have to be stored at -70 degrees, are a very popular agenda.
As is known, vaccines distributed through the cold chain are stored in vaccine refrigerators. So, how is the vaccine refrigerator temperature tracking done? As CoolerMed, which develops technology for the vaccine refrigerator and cold chain with the latest technologies, we believe that the care in practice is as important as the studies on this subject for public health. From this point of view, we have extensively studied the subject of vaccine refrigerator temperature monitoring.
Monitoring the Temperature in Vaccine Refrigerators
Recently, Covid 19 vaccines have been following with interest both by the whole society and healthcare professionals. During this follow-up, many questions come to mind, especially from the eyes of citizens. For example, people are wondering how the place to be vaccinated should be or what are the cold chain rules in the vaccine.
In addition to these, an important issue for healthy vaccination is who monitors the temperature of the vaccine refrigerator in the Family Health Centers and vaccination areas? However, another question that comes to mind is; Why is vaccine refrigerator temperature monitoring important? We have compiled the answers to these questions for you in the rest of our article.
For more information on Covid 19 vaccine storage and storage, you can read our article at https://coolermed.com/en/covid-19-vaccine-preservation/.
The Importance of Vaccine RefrigeratorTemperature Monitoring in the Immunization Process
It is important to meet the vaccine in infancy in order not to be affected by diseases. First of all, babies and then pregnant women are vaccinated in Turkey. It is important to follow the vaccination processes that are important for public health, such as vaccines to be given to babies after birth, different vaccines administered to adults, childhood vaccines. Two main issues come to the fore here: the awareness of the society on vaccination and the follow-up of vaccinations by the state. All of these make up the immune system.
The immunization process has multiple steps. There are some procedures to be followed in vaccine transfers, storage conditions, and applications. Necessary precautions should be taken so that the vaccines are not lost before the application.
Despite all precautions and procedures, it is possible to experience wastage in an opened or unopened vial from time to time. 35% of the causes of loss of unopened vials are exposed to freezing and heat. In order to prevent this rate, it is necessary to pay attention to cold chain conditions and vaccine refrigerator conditions.
With the right heat tracking systems and degrees, it is possible to prevent this loss. In this context, the first thing to be considered for the healthy functioning of the process is the temperature monitoring of the vaccine refrigerator. The process can be managed correctly with auxiliary elements such as schedules for temperature monitoring of the vaccine refrigerator and the correct use of refrigerators. So, how should the vaccine refrigerator be, or how many degrees should the vaccine refrigerator be? Let’s first look at the features that should be in the vaccine refrigerator…
Vaccine Refrigerator Features
The rules to be followed during the storage of vaccines are stated in the Extended Immunization Program Circular dated 13.03.2009 and numbered 7941. Therefore, in line with the criteria specified by the Ministry of Health, vaccine refrigerators are expected to have certain features. The vaccination process begins after the vaccination needs are determined in the family health centers and health centers.
Vaccines, which are set off with the cold chain from the Health Directorate, must be stored in vaccine refrigerators in FHCs, health centers, and hospitals. Vaccines can be stored in vaccine refrigerators, according to the determined criteria;
- The freezer and refrigerator sections of vaccine refrigerators must be separate.
- Refrigerators with no frost feature are preferred.
- Appropriate refrigerator models can also be used as vaccine refrigerators.
- The temperature of the vaccine refrigerators should be between +2 and +8 degrees.
- Especially if the temperature that needs to be fixed is +4.
Vaccine Refrigerator Temperature And Humidity Monitoring
A thermometer, temperature monitoring chart, or temperature monitoring devices should be used for temperature monitoring of the vaccine refrigerator. Temperature and humidity values can be monitored automatically by the vaccine refrigerator heat tracking system. In case of a temperature change, the officers are notified with an alarm. The heat tracking devices that provide comfort offer safe use. There are some points to be considered while preparing the temperature tracking chart of the vaccine refrigerator and checking the thermometer.
- The temperature of the vaccine refrigerator should be changed according to the temperature values felt during the day.
- It is preferred that the thermometer has a digital and temperature memory.
- Including holidays, the thermometer needs to be checked in the morning and evening and the temperature recorded.
- The thermostat settings of the vaccine refrigerators should be changed when necessary, according to the seasonal temperatures.
- The vaccine refrigerator should be kept in a cool area away from the sun, in the room where it is stored.
- Below the temperature chart, the name and surname of the person who follow up should be written.
- In very variable weather conditions, the saltwater containers placed in the vaccine refrigerator should be increased in order to prevent temperature fluctuations.
- In case of a possible power cut, the door of the vaccine refrigerator should not be opened.
- In long-term interruptions, the cold chain should be implemented with an emergency action plan.
- Vaccines should not be placed on the cover of the vaccine refrigerator.
- The refrigerator should not be filled with too many vaccines.
- There should be no food or drink other than vaccines inside the vaccine refrigerators. Otherwise, the refrigerator door may be opened more frequently.
- The doors of refrigerators where vaccines are stored should not be opened frequently.
- It should be checked whether the freezer part of the vaccine refrigerator is snowing. If the frost exceeds 0.5 cm, the temperature in the cooling section increases greatly.
Heat Sensitivity of Vaccines
Vaccines are generally sensitive to temperature changes. However, some vaccines show extra sensitivity to cold and some to heat. In cases where the required +2 and +8 degrees are exceeded, the effect of the vaccines decreases or disappears completely. These biological products are more resistant to temperature increase than freezing. Some vaccines, such as BCG, measles, and chickenpox, are sensitive to ultraviolet light. In case the vaccine refrigerators are at a lower or higher temperature than they should be, the steps determined by the Ministry of Health should be followed.
Consequences of High Vaccine Refrigerator Temperature
- The temperature of the vaccine refrigerator should be checked with different thermometers.
- Make sure that the vaccine refrigerator is working correctly or that the door is closed.
- If there is snow in the freezer section, it should be checked whether there is snow in the freezer as the temperature of the refrigerator will also be affected. If it does, it should be cleaned.
- By adjusting the thermostat, the coldness of the refrigerator should be increased.
- If the problem still persists after all the checks, the necessary repair should be made or it should be replaced with a new refrigerator.
- If the said vaccine refrigerator temperature rise occurred due to a power outage, the thermostat should not be set to a colder setting after the interruption. Vaccines at risk of frostbite may be adversely affected by this setting change.
Low Vaccine Refrigerator Temperature
- The temperature should be raised using the thermostat of the vaccine refrigerator.
- The lid of the freezer compartment of the refrigerator should be checked.
- The number of saltwater canisters in the vaccine refrigerator should be increased.
- Vaccines sensitive to frostbite should be controlled. If the vaccines are frozen, they should be destroyed.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Vaccine Refrigerators
Vaccine refrigerators need to be cleaned periodically. Vaccines should be stored in transport containers during the procedure to ensure refrigerator hygiene. After cleaning the refrigerator, the vaccine refrigerator should be operated on and waited for it to reach the appropriate temperature. When the refrigerator reaches the appropriate temperature range, the vaccines should be spaced out in the refrigerator. CoolerMed, which produces coolers for the health sector, has been operating since 2016. CoolerMed, a local and national brand, offers vaccine refrigerators, ultra-deep freezers, medical freezer refrigerators, and many more alternatives in line with the criteria determined by the Ministry of Health.
In this article, we answered the question of how the vaccine refrigerator temperature should be monitored.
You can reach our previous article from the link https://coolermed.com/en/what-is-a-cold-chain-break/.