Vaccine Storage

August 30, 2017

For vaccine storage during or after a power outage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a reference guide. A summary is available here.

Monitoring unit temperature during a power outage units with outside temperature monitoring devices
If you can monitor the temperature of the storage unit from the outside without opening the door, take the following steps:

  • Record room temperature (if possible) and the temperature inside the unit as soon as the power goes out.
  • Record minimum and maximum temperatures reached inside the unit during the outage.
  • If temperatures have fallen outside of the recommended range, follow your procedures for out-of-range temperatures/excursions.
  • If you are unsure how long the power interruption will last, or you determine power will not be restored in time to maintain proper temperatures inside the unit, implement your emergency vaccine storage, handling, and transport procedures.

Units without outside temperature monitoring devices
If you cannot monitor the temperature inside the unit without opening the door, wait until the power is restored, then take the following steps:

  • Record the room temperature (if possible) and the temperature inside the unit.
  • If using a digital data logger, document the length of time power was off and the minimum and maximum temperatures during that period.
  • If temperatures inside the unit have already fallen outside of the recommended range, follow your procedures for out-of-range temperatures/excursions.
  • If you are unsure how long the power interruption will last, or you determine power will not be restored in time to maintain proper temperatures inside the unit, implement your emergency vaccine storage, handling, and transport procedures.

The Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers general guidance concerning storage and use of temperature-sensitive biological products that have been involved in temporary electrical power failure or flood conditions.

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