NOW READING: COVID-19 Vaccine Storage: Prepare to Keep Your ‘Cool’

Researchers around the globe are racing to develop safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Companies and governments are building the manufacturing facilities and logistics capabilities necessary to distribute them. And healthcare providers—including hospitals and their pharmacy directors—are preparing to store and administer the large volume of vaccines as soon as they become available. 

Maintaining these vaccines at proper temperature is critical to ensure effectiveness and patient safety and maintain regulatory compliance. It’s no small task.

Consider, for example, that two of the leading vaccine candidates must be stored within very different temperature ranges. Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidate must be stored at a temperature of -4°F (-20°C), while the candidates from BioNTech and Pfizer must be stored at -94°F (-70°C). The volume of vaccine is also vast, amounting to hundreds of millions of doses nationally, and billions globally.

Are you ready for the surge?

The requirement to monitor and manage vaccine storage temperatures is of course not new. Yet in its 2020 State of Pharmacy report, Pharmacy Purchasing and Products Magazine revealed that 30% of pharmacies still monitor temperatures manually or with a hard-wired system. Both will be difficult to use with COVID-19 vaccines, as monitoring of temperatures while away from the immediate storage area is challenging.

The CDC’s best practices for Vaccine Storage for Freezers both emphasize the criticality of immediately identifying—and addressing—out-of-range temperatures.

Additionally,the just-released CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook directly specifies that COVID vaccination providers maintain and monitor required temperatures, and keep accurate logs of this essential information, preferably with a digital data logger (DDL).

In this context, wireless temperature monitoring is the quickest way to achieve simple, reliable and scalable around-the-clock monitoring, with real-time alerts and built-in regulatory compliance tools.

We’re already working with many hospital pharmacy directors to help them prepare for the unprecedented scope, scale and complexity of storing and managing COVID-19 vaccines. It’s driving very strong interest in our AeroScout T15e Temperature Tag, a multi-use temperature tag with visual display and integrated contact sensor for open/closed door monitoring, ideally suited to monitoring COVID-19 vaccine storage units.

COVID-19 vaccines will be critically important to a full recovery from the global pandemic, and it will take an all-hands-on-deck approach. Our “hands” are ready to help pharmacy directors quickly and properly prepare to store these precious resources.

Updated November 16, 2020