Vaccines have been around longer than you might think. While large scale vaccine production started in the 1940s, these items began saving lives during 1796. The earliest types of large scale vaccinations treated conditions including whooping cough, Tetanus, and Smallpox. In addition, vaccinations are able to help save over 2.5 million lives each year. However, it’s difficult for vaccines to save lives if not stored in a proper manner. With that in mind, here are five helpful tips to remember while storing vaccines.
- Keep a Close Eye on Vaccine Inventory
Whether you or someone else is in charge of ordering vaccines, it’s important to ensure you have an optimal amount of these items. Ordering too many vaccines could mean having to throw away items that expire. On the other hand, not having enough vaccines means having to turn people away. To prevent these problems, consider reviewing your vaccine inventory one to two times each month.
- Ensure Vaccines Remain at Optimal Temperatures
It’s imperative to keep vaccines at proper temperatures. If not, you could end up causing your vaccine supply to go bad. With that in mind, many medical facilities use medical grade freezers and refrigerators for safe vaccine storage. Medical grade refrigerators and freezers often have a temperature gauge that’s easy for you to understand. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends frozen vaccines should remain stored at temperatures ranging between -58 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerated vaccines need to be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Always Rotate Your Vaccines
Another important tip is to rotate your supply of vaccines. Chances are, your medical facility or lab receives vaccines on a regular basis. While this is great for those who need them, it can be quite confusing to keep track of these shipments. Fortunately, you’ll avoid major problems by ensuring that your vaccines are rotated. This simply means using older, non expired vaccines first while keeping newer vaccines stored away.
- Fill Empty Spaces with Ice Packs and Water Bottles
Not every medical freezer or refrigerator will be filled to the brim with vaccines. During these times, it’s wise to keep temperatures consistent by filling in any empty spaces. You can accomplish this goal by placing water bottles or ice packs in these devices. If you want to avoid any confusion, make sure that other workers know these items are for temperature purposes and not human consumption.
- Take Note of Any Sudden Temperature Changes
While it’s not something you want to think about, vaccine freezers and refrigerators can cause problematic situations. In most cases, this happens because of general wear and tear over time. You can help minimize wasting vaccines by keeping a close eye on temperature changes. For instance, rising temperatures on a benchtop freezer’s gauge are often the result of torn seals. It’s a good idea to partner with a medical grade freezer and refrigerator supply company. In turn, you can notify this company of temperature changes and receive equipment that will solve this problem.
In closing, there are several tips to follow while storing vaccines. Considering how important vaccinations are, it’s wise to follow each of the previously mentioned tips. If you’re new to storing vaccines, you’ll need medical grade equipment. For instance, benchtop freezers work well for storing vaccines in medical facilities without a lot of space. Whether you need a stand alone or benchtop freezer, make sure you’re partnering with a reputable and trustworthy medical equipment supplier. In turn, you’ll be able to receive quality medical equipment that’s perfect for storing vaccines.