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Explaining the NSF / ANSI 456 Vaccine Storage Standard

Posted on Jan 27, 2022 by Ben Greenfield

A view of a Helmer Scientific article

Vaccine demand has increased due to the global COVID-19 pandemic; the need for specialized refrigerators and freezers to help safeguard these life-saving products has become more critical than ever. As temperature excursions can affect the viability of vaccines, choosing refrigerators and freezers that have been designed and tested for vaccine storage helps ensure vaccine viability and supports safety.  

A new standard was developed by the NSF Joint Committee on Vaccine Storage.  This new standard, NSF/ANSI 456 Vaccine Storage Standard, was published in 2021 to help define temperature performance attributes for vaccine storage units. The NSF/ANSI 456 Vaccine Storage Standard was designed to challenge refrigerators and freezers with testing protocols designed around real-world use cases common in busy healthcare environments. 

Testing includes confirming temperature performance during a series of short, frequent door openings to simulate regular use, as well as long, extended door openings to simulate events such as inventory counts or cleaning that may require the door to remain open for up to several minutes. 

The standard acknowledges that how vaccines are loaded into refrigerators and freezers may affect performance, so units must pass performance criteria loaded and unloaded. In addition, all potential storage locations are considered to ensure there are not hot or cold spots that may allow vaccines to go out of recommended temperature ranges. 

With the new standard published, vaccine refrigerator and freezer manufacturers may now submit their equipment to third-party ANSI-accredited labs that can test and certify equipment to the NSF/ANSI 456 Vaccine Storage Standard. Helmer Scientific GX Solutions products designed for vaccine storage have been submitted, tested, and certified by Intertek Laboratory Services to meet this new standard, and certified products now carry the Intertek ETL label. 


Helmer Scientific refrigerators and freezers certified to the new NSF/ANSI 456 standard are available across a broad range of sizes, including compact vaccine storage units that can fit under counters, as well as larger upright units for areas that require higher capacity storage capabilities.  

To learn more about Helmer Scientific models certified to the new NSF/ANSI 456 Vaccine Storage standard, please visit our website.

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Ben Greenfield

Written by Ben Greenfield

With over 10 years of experience in Medical Device and Life Sciences marketing, Ben is the Director of Marketing at Helmer Scientific with a focus on inbound / outbound marketing, strategic marketing, and new product development.

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