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Monitoring Vaccine Refrigerator Temperature

Monitoring Vaccine Refrigerator Temperature

The vaccine tracking system is a fundamental issue for herd immunity. It is a significant topic that vaccines should be stored in a certain temperature range. As is known, vaccines distributed through the cold chain are stored in vaccine refrigerators models. So, how is the temperature tracking done in vaccine refrigerators? Let’s look at this in a broader context.

Monitoring the Temperature in Vaccine Refrigerators

Recently, COVID-19 vaccines have been followed with interest by society and healthcare professionals. During this follow-up, many questions come to mind, especially from the eyes of citizens. For example, people are wondering where the place to be vaccinated should be or what the cold chain rules in the vaccine are.

In addition, 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 arises: Why is refrigerator temperature monitoring important? We have compiled the answers to these questions for you in the rest of our article.

Vaccine Refrigerator Temperature: Key to Immunization

It is important to receive the vaccine in infancy so you are not affected by diseases. First of all, babies and then pregnant women are vaccinated in Turkey. It is important to follow the vaccination processes important for public health, such as vaccines to be given to babies after birth, different vaccines administered to adults, and childhood vaccines. Two main issues come to the fore here: the society’s awareness of vaccination and the state’s follow-up of vaccinations. All of these make up the immune system.

The immunization process has multiple steps. Some procedures must be followed in vaccine transfers, vaccine 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 occasionally. 35% of the causes of loss of unopened vials are exposed to freezing and heat. Paying attention to cold chain and vaccine refrigerator conditions is necessary to prevent this rate.

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 refrigerator. The process can be managed correctly with auxiliary elements such as schedules for temperature monitoring of the fridge and the correct use of refrigerators. So, how should the medical freezer be, or how many degrees should it be? Let’s first look at the features that should be in them.

Vaccine Refrigerator Features

The rules for storing 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 begins after the needs of the family and health centers are determined.


Vaccines, set off with the cold chain from the Health Directorate, must be stored in refrigerators in FHCs, health centers, and hospitals. Vaccines can be stored in refrigerators according to the determined criteria;

  1. The freezer and refrigerator sections of vaccines must be separate.
  2. Refrigerators with no frost feature are preferred.
  3. Appropriate refrigerator models can also be used as vaccine cabinets.
  4. The temperature of the 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 to monitor the vaccine refrigerator. The heat tracking system can automatically monitor temperature and humidity values. In case of a temperature change, the officers are notified with an alarm. The heat tracking devices that provide comfort offer safe use. Some points must be considered while preparing the refrigerator’s temperature tracking chart and checking the thermometer.

  1. The freezer’s temperature should be changed according to the temperature values ​​during the day.
  2. It is preferred that the thermometer has a digital and temperature memory.
  3. Including holidays, the thermometer must be checked in the morning and evening, and the temperature must be recorded.
  4. The thermostat settings of the refrigerators should be changed when necessary, according to the seasonal temperatures.
  5. The refrigerator should be kept in a cool area away from the sun, in the room where it is stored.
  6. Below the temperature chart, the name and surname of the person who followed up should be written.
  7. Saltwater containers should be increased in variable weather conditions to prevent temperature fluctuations.
  8. The door should not be opened in case of a possible power cut.
  9. The cold chain should be implemented in long-term interruptions with an emergency action plan.
  10. Vaccines should not be placed on the cover.
  11. The refrigerator should not be filled with too many vaccines.
  12. No food or drink besides vaccines should be inside the refrigerators. Otherwise, the doors may be opened more frequently.
  13. The doors of refrigerators where vaccines are stored should not be opened frequently.
  14. It should be checked whether the freezer part of the 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. If 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.

High Vaccine Refrigerator Temperature

Maintaining the correct temperature in refrigerators is crucial for vaccine efficacy. High temperatures can reduce potency, compromising vaccine effectiveness and potentially impacting public health. To prevent this:

  1. The temperature of the vaccine refrigerator should be checked with different thermometers.
  2. Ensure the refrigerator is working correctly or the door is closed.
  3. If snow is in the freezer section, it should be checked whether it is in the freezer, as the refrigerator’s temperature will also be affected. If it does, it should be cleaned.
  4. By adjusting the thermostat, the coldness of the refrigerator should be increased.
  5. If the problem persists after all the checks, the necessary repairs should be made, or the refrigerator should be replaced with a new one.
  6. If the temperature rises 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

Maintaining the right temperature in vaccine refrigerators is critical to safeguarding the potency of vaccines. Low temperatures can lead to the freezing of vaccines, potentially damaging their effectiveness and wasting supplies. To take precautions:

  1. The temperature should be raised using the refrigerator thermostat.
  2. The lid of the freezer compartment of the refrigerator should be checked.
  3. The number of saltwater canisters should be increased.
  4. Vaccines sensitive to frostbite should be controlled. If the vaccines are frozen, they should be destroyed.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Vaccine Refrigerators

Vaccine coolers need to be cleaned periodically. Vaccines should be stored in transport containers during the procedure to ensure refrigerator hygiene. After cleaning the refrigerator, it should be operated on and waited to reach the appropriate temperature.

When the refrigerator reaches the proper temperature range, the vaccines should be spaced out in the fridge. Coolermed, which produces coolers for the health sector, has operated since 2016. As a local and national brand, we offer vaccine refrigerators, ultra-deep freezers, medical freezer refrigerators, and many more alternatives in line with the criteria determined by the Turkish Ministry of Health.

You can find our previous article at the link https://coolermed.com/what-is-a-cold-chain-break/.