As the distribution of vaccines continues, there are growing concerns over the best ways to preserve such precious and much-needed medicine for a considerable period. Indeed, all available vaccines have a shelf-life, and their effectiveness depends on how you store and handle them.
In this article, we list a few common errors that endanger the effectiveness and shelf life of vaccines. The storage and handling guidelines will differ depending on each vaccine variety. Here are some of the vaccine storage and handling mistakes you should avoid.
Most vaccines require low temperatures during transportation and storage to remain effective. The problem is that some of these vaccines need to travel long distances to regions where the temperatures are quite high. That means that you need to invest in suitable freezers to preserve vaccines. That requires a complex logistic chain involving transportation concerns, emergency planning for power outages, and educating the cargo handling personnel.
Indeed, if your workers lack an understanding of the best way to store and handle vaccines requiring low temperatures, your facility can suffer massive losses. Educating everyone involved in transportation and subsequent storage, and availing of the right storage equipment for vaccines is paramount.
Vaccines may have different expiration dates upon arrival/unloading. Note that a vaccine is of no use once it expires, In that case, once you receive a consignment of vaccines for your health facility, the vaccines with the soonest expiration date should be stored in such a way as to be accessible first.
Your employees probably unpack drugs for storage at designated areas within your medical facility. That should not be the case for vaccines. The reason is that most vaccines come with special packaging to preserve the contents. You should consider adopting CDC toolkit guidelines to ensure the proper storage of vaccines. Since different vaccines may be stored in the same facility, following guidelines for each type of vaccine is crucial.
Most medical facilities have backup generators to keep all systems running during an outage. However, that measure alone is largely insufficient. You need to ensure that everyone understands the importance of keeping the power supply to refrigerators and freezers on. It is not unusual to find workers unplugging the power supply to such units on various occasions.
The new NSF 456/ANSI standard recommends systems be designed and built specifically for vaccine storage: Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit. This includes microprocessor-based temperature control and forced-air technology to safeguard vaccines. The new NSF 456/ANSI standard is a voluntary standard, which seeks to enhance storage requirements but is not subject to regulatory enforcement.
Any vaccine would be unfit for use after either one of these mistakes. That suggests that you may need to place a new order for vaccines earlier than you expect, which can be expensive in one way or another. Opting for American Biotech Supply ( ABS) products will not only ensure proper storage of vaccines within your medical facility but will also save you unnecessary expenses.