Most people realize that vaccines play a highly important role in promoting health and well-being, as they protect people from the harmful effects of diseases that used to cause discomfort, debilitation, or even death. It is not surprising that the process of manufacturing, storing, and shipping vaccines is subject to stringent regulations enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After all, a batch of vaccines that has been improperly prepared, or has been compromised due to substandard handling procedures, can literally be lethal.
To ensure correct storage of these sensitive biological materials, pharmaceutical professionals should use a vaccine temperature monitoring system. The components of the system should include a NIST traceable data logger with an LCD display and wireless transmission capabilities, a thermocouple probe, a glycol bottle to record buffered temperature readings and a means of analyzing and reporting results, such as software. Here, we’ll take a look at the various benefits provided by these systems.
To a large extent, keeping vaccines in optimal condition means ensuring that they are stored within an acceptable temperature range. As with all biological materials, vaccines are subject to degradation, and irreparable spoilage that will occur if they are not continuously maintained at the right temperature, usually in a refrigerator, freezer, or another closely monitored unit. So why is a vaccine temperature monitoring system superior to a standard thermometer setup? A state of the art vaccine temperature monitoring system provides extremely precise data readings—it’s not uncommon for these devices to maintain accuracy within 0.1 °C (0.18 °F). This is essential in a field that increasingly demands information to be exact.
It’s a regrettable fact that freezers and refrigerators used for vaccine storage sometimes malfunction—which, of course, may cause irreversible damage to these delicate biological materials. What happens if a storage unit temporarily dips below acceptable temperature parameters? With a standard thermometer setup, a temporary variation would be difficult to notice; bear in mind that even a very brief episode of this nature can spell ruin. However, a vaccine temperature monitoring system can send an alert to the supervisor instantly, informing him or her of the problem. These alerts may even be transmitted in real time to a PC, sent via email or text, or configured as an audible alert for cases where staff is within proximity of the device. This enables the supervisor to take prompt action—and, in these cases, promptness is essential and can allow for intervention before the problem reaches critical levels.
Luckily, a suitable vaccine temperature monitoring system does far more than merely display the current temperature—it stores this data for future reference. Supervisors can access the temperature data of any point of time during the monitoring process, as well as the minimum, maximum, and average statistics relating to a specified period. Best of all, this data is downloaded and saved for future reference, providing a valuable information trail and proof of compliance.
Founded in 1996, MadgeTech, Inc. is dedicated to the development and manufacture of high-quality data loggers and related accessories. Distributed worldwide, the company’s line of products includes temperature, humidity, motion, voltage, water level, and wind loggers, among others. MadgeTech is based in Warner, New Hampshire.