VACCINE COLD CHAIN
Vaccines are among the most sensitive drugs that are administered into the body of healthy individuals. They are sensitive to heat and freezing hence they must be stored at the correct temperature right from the time they are manufactured till they are administered. This system of storage of vaccine or the medicine is known as cold chain.
The potency of the vaccines can get affected irreversibly if the temperature is not maintained within the recommended range during the storage, transport, retailing and administering the vaccine.
The recommended temperature range for most of the vaccine is from 2°C to 8°C however the range varies for the storage and transport, even long storage and short storage temperature also varies. Few vaccines are stored at a frozen state.
Vaccine storage units must be selected carefully and used properly. A combination refrigerator/freezer unit sold for home use is acceptable for vaccine storage if the refrigerator and freezer compartments each have a separate door. However, vaccines should not be stored near the cold air outlet from the freezer to the refrigerator. This can result in different temperature zones within the refrigerator. Any refrigerator or freezer used for vaccine storage must maintain the required temperature range year-round.
Food or beverages should not be stored in vaccine storage units.
Vaccines should be stored centrally in the refrigerator or freezer, not in the door or at the bottom and away from walls to allow air to circulate.
Thermometers should be placed in a central location in the storage unit, adjacent to the vaccine. Temperatures should be read and documented twice each day, once when the office or clinic opens and once at the end of the day.
A Proper temperature charting has to be maintained by the vaccine provider and the recipient should make a habit of checking those register before purchasing the vaccines, or getting the vaccine administered from the doctor.