Numerous vaccine storage units have entered the market that are designed specifically for the storage of vaccines. These units can take many physical forms. Some look like traditional stand-alone units, while others can take the form of dispensing or vending units, either with or without doors.
Although these units may be similar to other refrigerators and freezers on the market, they are unique in that they are designed and tested to keep vaccines within appropriate temperature ranges.This is crucial for vaccine efficacy and patient protection.
Features and considerations related to these types of units include the following:
- Many purpose-built units have multiple temperature probes or sensors. It is important that these probes or sensors have current Certificates of Calibration.
- Many of the purpose-built closed or doorless units may utilize air sensors (non-buffered probes). Since these units have very limited exposure to ambient air, the use of a buffered probe is not essential.
- Many purpose-built units will have built-in digital data loggers with electronic interfaces that will allow you to track the continuous temperatures and/or provide min/max temperatures.
- Many purpose-built units have undergone testing and temperature mapping so that the probe is in the most appropriate location.
- Although purpose-built units can have multiple temperature probes, a backup DDL is still needed for transport to a backup facility in an emergency.
- Many purpose-built units do not need water bottles to serve as thermal ballast.
Other Blogs You Might Be Interested In...
- CDC Vaccine Toolkit 2020: What’s New?
- Vaccine Storage: The Best of 2019
- Here’s How the CDC Defines A Vaccine Refrigerator
- Where to Properly Place a Temperature Probe in Your Vaccine Refrigerator
If you are a VFC provider, your immunization program determines which purpose-built units meet VFC program requirements. Always check with your immunization program before purchasing any unit that will be used to store VFC vaccines.
For more information on vaccine storage and handling, download our in depth, CDC vaccine storage guide at the link below.