Flu Season Infection Control

4 Essentials for Proper Flu Vaccine Storage

It’s that time of year again; the changing of the seasons from summer to fall. Kids are back in school. Leaves are showing a slight hint of changing color. And influenza vaccines are shipping out.

What better time to review the proper and safe temperature for storing flu vaccine.

It’s not complicated but it is important.

  1. Do not freeze
  2. Store at 35°F – 46°F (2°C – 8°C)

Maintaining the temperature is the challenge
A breached temperature compromises the integrity of a vaccine and can be costly, and could even result in a vaccine shortage. To assure your inventory isn’t wasted and every patient who wants a flu shot can get one, here’s what you need:

vaccine-tote Totes approved specifically for vaccine transport
Vaccine transport totes are designed to hold their temperatures and are clearly marked for contents.
ice-mat-for-vaccine-tote Ice packs
Obviously, the temperature has to be maintained inside the vaccine tote during transport. Ice packs are ideal because they are reusable and won’t melt into water and create a mess or damage the vaccines. Be sure to check out ice mats as an option. They’re sheets of ice packs that can be separated into smaller, custom sizes or left in tact for wrapping around the bottles.
temperature-tracker Temperature trackers
During transport, minimum or maximum temperatures can be breached and then move back into acceptable range when you check them upon receipt. A tracker will indicate any breach of temperature range to let you know the item is no longer safe or effective for use. Stick-on trackers are best because they can be attached directly to an individual vaccine bottle and remain with it until it is used.
refrigerator-thermometer Refrigerator thermometers
Monitoring the overall temperature of the refrigerator where vaccine bottles are stored is required. Be sure to use a minimum/maximum thermometer approved for use with vaccine storage.

Make a commitment this year to keeping your influenza vaccine supply safe for use. It could ultimately help reduce the number of flu cases you see.


One comment

  • September 20, 2017 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I was recently talking with my doctor about vaccines that I could need in the future and how I’d have to let him know so that he could get them out of their storage. I liked that you had mentioned that it’s very important that vaccines are stored in the cold, but not at freezing temperature to make sure they don’t have any problems. If I were in charge of the vaccine storage, I’d want to make sure that I was keeping them at the proper temperature and I’d find a way to avoid any possible problems because it’s a very important job.

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