Vaccines are biological substances with high sensitivity. They often lose their power and potency when exposed to temperatures that are not within their required limits. As such, you have to store them in an ever-powered medical refrigerator freezer. Such storage units need special maintenance to prevent vaccine spoilage. This post presents some of the crucial vaccine storage maintenance tips.
Here are valuable tips and tricks on how to maintain your vaccine refrigerator or freezer.
Train Your Storage and Handling Staff
For your vaccines to stay safe and protected, you’ll need a trained staff that can provide proper due maintenance to your pharmaceutical grade refrigerator. As such, you need to provide adequate cold chain training to your team on handling and storage practices.
Check the Temperature of Your Pharmaceutical Refrigerator
You have to maintain the temperature of your vaccines within a specific range to ensure that they are potent. As such, you have to keep up-to-date and accurate documentation of your refrigerating unit temperature. You’ll need a temperature monitoring device to check and record current, highest, and lowest temperatures at least twice per day. You should take your measurements at the beginning and the end of the day and recorded within the temperature log book. You should ensure that your temperature monitoring device is accurate.
Organize Your Medical Refrigerator Freezer Well
You should arrange your vaccines well within the refrigerating unit to avoid exposing your vaccines to temperatures that fall out of the required limit. You should avoid keeping your vaccines close to your refrigerator’s floors, walls, and cold air vents. You should place similar vaccines in one area to avoid confusion. You should also leave spaces between packages to allow the free movement of air within the refrigerating unit. Also, avoid exposing your vaccines to too much light.
Don’t Store Food or Other Items in Your Vaccine Refrigerator
You should dedicate your vaccine storage unit to vaccine storage only. You shouldn’t store laboratory specimens or food and beverages in your medical refrigerator freezer.
Clean Your Refrigerator as Required
You should clean the high touch areas of the refrigerator daily. But you can clean the less used ones weekly. You should use a disinfectant for the high touch areas. If you aren’t sure about how to do it, you should check the manufacturer’s manual.
Always Keep the Refrigerator’s Door Shut
Frequent opening of your refrigerator or leaving your refrigerator open for extended hours may destabilize the refrigerating unit’s temperature. The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention body holds that vaccines stored in a freezer should be at a temperature of 5 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, you should install a latch on your refrigerator door to prevent accidental opening.
Locate Your Refrigerator in a Low Human Traffic Area
You should place your medical refrigerator freezer in a well-ventilated area, which is away from the external walls of the building and direct sunlight. You should ensure that such a place has restricted access to prevent unauthorized public access. The vaccine storage room should also have a lockable door.
Secure the Refrigerator’s Plug and Power Outlet
Securing your power outlet and the cooling unit’s plug ensures that your pharmaceutical freezer does not get turned off or unplugged by accident.
Do A Bi-Annual or Annual Cleaning of the Entire Refrigerator
You should do a thorough cleaning of the refrigerator’s interior and exterior at least twice a year. If there are any faults and inefficiencies, you should call in a technician. Don’t treat regular repair and maintenance as a DIY project.
Vaccines are essential medical supplies that need proper care and storage to ensure that they remain potent for medical use. You should keep these supplies in a medical refrigerator freezer that maintains a low-temperature range that is suitable for them to keep their potency. But for the refrigerating unit to work well, you’ll need to maintain it by conducting a regular cleaning, organizing, repair, and monitoring routine. Follow the tips outlined above to get the best from your vaccine storage refrigerators.