October 27, 2020

Vaccine Cold Chain Monitoring

All vaccines must be stored within a specific safe temperature range. That’s where vaccine cold chain monitoring comes into play. The chain starts from the time when the vaccine is being manufactured and ends to the point where the customer receives it. 
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According to a study of the global pharmaceutical logistics delivery market, more than 30% of deliveries are damaged or spoiled when they reach the destination.

Delivering vaccines isn’t an easy task. Many people, organizations, and technologies work together to deliver them around the world. It takes a strong chain to store, manage, and transport the temperature-controlled life-saving vaccines to different parts of the world with ease; that’s what our today’s topic is all about!

COVID-19 vaccines are being transported to different countries for saving the world from the coronavirus pandemic. But to make the process effective, the vaccine cold chain has to play its part.

So let’s dive into the real conversation of vaccine cold chain monitoring.     

What is vaccine cold chain monitoring?

If you don’t know about the cold chain and cold chain monitoring, it would be helpful to get your head around what the vaccine cold chain monitoring is. Let’s first explore cold chain and cold chain monitoring!

What is a cold chain?

The uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage, transport, and distribution of temperature-sensitive products is known as cold chain or cold chain monitoring. A cold chain provides a temperature-controlled supply chain of products to make sure their quality isn’t impacted during their journeys.

What is cold chain monitoring?

The process of monitoring the cold chain is known as cold chain monitoring. Data loggers, temperature systems, and more technologies are used to monitor the cold chain.

Note that these two terms, cold chain and cold chain monitoring, are often interchangeable.

Let’s move forward and learn more about vaccine cold chain monitoring.

All vaccines must be stored within the safe temperature range of +2C to +8C. And that’s where vaccine cold chain monitoring comes into play. The chain starts from the time when the vaccine is being manufactured and ends to the point where the customer receives it. Certain vaccines require temperatures as low as -80°C, requiring specialized deep freeze monitoring solutions.

From manufacturing to storing and transporting, the vaccine must be kept under a specific temperature to safeguard its quality and reliability. Vaccine cold chain is about storing, handling, transporting, and distributing the vaccines under a temperature-controlled supply.

Now let’s move forward and learn about the cold chain management of vaccines. 

Cold chain management of vaccines

For the superior management of vaccines, three things are necessary: vaccine storage temperatures, storage and handling planning and personnel, and training and education. We’ll educate you about these three points below.

Vaccine storage temperatures

Vaccines must be stored at the temperature recommended by the manufactured as they are fragile. Temperature fluctuations and faulty storage equipment can affect the quality of vaccines.

Some vaccines that contain all varicella must be stored in a frozen environment. The typical frozen state ranges from -58F to +5F. In contrast, all the inactivated vaccines must be deposited in a refrigerator. The temperatures must be between 35F and 46F to ensure the full potential of the vaccine.        

Storage & handling plans

In cold chain management of vaccines, storage and handling plans should be developed. Routine storage and handling plan should consist of ordering & accepting vaccine deliveries, managing inventory, storing and handling vaccines, and managing compromised vaccines.

Every facility must have emergency and backup plans for storing and handling vaccines. The plan should cover all the emergencies like a natural disaster, power failure, human error, etc. Moreover, the plan must be easy to understand for all the facility members so they can execute it quickly and easily. 

Personnel, training & education

While managing vaccine cold chains, responsibilities must be assigned to a primary vaccine coordinator. Furthermore, at least one backup person should be appointed to keep the check and balance.

All personnel who are handling the vaccines must be provided with sufficient training and education. They must be aware of all the policies, techniques, procedures, and more. Continuing education for the staff should also be prioritized to keep-up with the advancements.

Cold chain maintenance in vaccines

Vaccine cold chains require the maintenance in some sectors to make sure that vaccines aren’t compromised. The following are some sectors that must be maintained at any cost in vaccine cold chain:

Vaccine storage equipment

The storage equipment of vaccines must be maintained on a regular basis to make sure they are working correctly. As refrigerators and freezers play a massive role in storing the vaccines, they must be appropriately checked and diagnosed to avoid mishaps.

From seals to thermometers and ventilation, everything should be double-checked in the vaccine storage equipment. Furthermore, a team should be dedicated to maintaining the refrigerators and freezers daily so that vaccines’ quality doesn’t get compromised.

Temperature monitoring

Regularly monitoring and maintaining the temperature is an essential part of a vaccine cold chain. Temperatures in both freezers and refrigerators must be maintained and checked at least twice a day.

For better maintenance of temperature monitoring, a temperature log should be kept accessible. It will help other staff members easily keep track of the temperatures and maintain them according to the situation.

If the temperature monitoring plan isn’t maintained, it can significantly hurt the vaccine cold chain. From regularly checking temperatures to maintaining the monitoring system’s parts, you must take every possible measure to ensure an excellent temperature monitoring routine.

Vaccine inventory

Vaccine inventory is another sector in the vaccine cold chain that requires maintenance. To avoid overstocking, expired, and wasted vaccines, the vaccine inventory must be maintained properly.

Vaccine inventory checks must be conducted weekly or monthly. It will help your team to responsibly order vaccines according to storage capacity, current supply, and projected demand.

If a vaccine cold chain isn’t carrying out vaccine inventory checks regularly, they’ll be facing severe problems like overstocking, expired vaccines, wasted vaccines, late orders, storage issues, and more.

In order to keep the vaccine cold chain smooth, vaccine inventory must be maintained on an orderly basis.

Importance of cold chain in vaccines

Vaccines must be presented as-is they were made by the manufacturers to the consumers. The immunization of COVID-19 is now all set to be distributed in different parts of the world. But they must be presented to the consumer in the same shape and form they were made for desirable results.

Protect vaccines from light and heat

As vaccines are fragile and sensitive, they lose potency if exposed to light or heat. Loss of potency in a vaccine means that it would be less effective in fighting the disease. The cold chain keeps vaccines away from light and heat.

A proper vaccine supply chain makes sure that the products are safe from tampering, temperature fluctuations, and exposure to lights. When vaccines are safely delivered without being exposed to heat or light, they retain the potency and perform their task effectively.

Carry vaccines with all precautions

Vaccines are of no use if a temperature-controlled chain doesn’t back them up. All the vaccines require strict temperatures to retain their potency. And that’s exactly what the cold chain is all about.

From the time a vaccine is manufactured to the day it reaches a consumer, the cold chain makes sure that it’s safe and ready to be used. Without investing in a cold chain, storing, transporting, distributing, and handling vaccines safely is just impossible.

24/7 monitoring

Slight temperature fluctuation is enough to waste the whole stock of refrigerated vaccines. But cold chain monitors the temperatures when transporting, storing, distribution, and manufacturing the vaccines 24/7.

With 24/7 monitoring of vaccines, they are well away from danger. Even if something goes sideways, with the help of monitoring, the situation can be handled with ease using established backup systems.

Different cold chains have different requirements. But when it comes to the vaccine cold chain, the rules are a bit different.                   

Cold chain requirements in vaccines

Vaccine cold chains require a set of elements that are necessary to fulfil its purpose. Many organizations often drop some of the features to save costs. But it can result in a significant loss of the quality of vaccines.

The following are some of the primary cold chain requirements in vaccines:

Extra sensors

Temperature isn’t the only necessary data point that needs to be collected. When vaccines are being transported, there are lots of risks. What if the truck that’s carrying vaccines is bumped on its way to the retailers? Or the truck’s suspension breaks down on a sunny day? Extra sensors like tilt, shocks, scan location, humidity, and ambient light must be featured in the vaccine cold chain to ensure 100% protection.

Smart analytics

The goal of the vaccine cold chain is to identify the interventions as early as possible so that you can take action immediately. But a cheap system cold chain monitoring system can produce misleading reports and insights.

One of the most crucial cold chain requirements in vaccines is smart analytics. The analytics infrastructure of your vaccine cold chain must be rock-solid and of the highest quality. It should give detailed and easily understandable reports, insights, and suggestions based on the recorded data.

Incident response plan

Unlike other cold chain sectors, one can’t risk it all to a specific group when handling and transporting vaccines. An excellent vaccine cold chain must have an incident response plan to keep unannounced dangers at bay.

Apart from the people who are handling, carrying, and transporting the vaccines, there must be an alternative team that should be specifically hired to provide aid in extreme situations.       

Cold chain transport of vaccines

The number of times vaccines are handled and transported in the cold chain must be minimized. If the transportation is mandatory, the vaccine’s potency must be protected by maintaining the cold chain’s functionality at any cost.

Providers should contact the manufacturers of vaccines to learn about the best practices of transporting them. Furthermore, the staff should carry out regular temperature checks, equipment maintenance, and other tasks to make sure vaccines don’t get compromised on their way to the destination.

During the transport of vaccines, the optimal temperatures should be maintained at all times. As the world tends to be unpredictable, transporters of vaccines should be ready for any challenge. Special measures should be taken immediately if any risks are flagged related to the quality of vaccines.   

How Logmore’s data loggers can improve vaccine cold chain monitoring?

Logmore data loggers

Logmore’s data loggers provide comprehensive condition monitoring solutions for every industry. 

Data loggers by Logmore bring everything together. The service features accurate built-in sensors and an ample amount of internal storage for over 20,000 measurements. Logmore’s data loggers feature sensors like temperature, humidity, shocks, ambient light, tilt, and scan location. Plus, all sensors are certified!

Logmore data loggers have redefined the way of cold chain monitoring. Apart from being one of the best data loggers in the industry, we provide a cloud service that lets you track, analyze, and report in just a few clicks.

How Logmore Is Assisting Vaccine Cold Chain Monitoring

Vaccine cold chain can be improved in a handful of ways. But nothing comes close to trusting and featuring Logmore’s data loggers in your vaccine cold chain. It provides all the essential and advanced certified sensors to cover up your vaccine cold chain monitoring needs.

Logmore’s data loggers have got everything to revolutionize how we all have been monitoring the vaccine cold chain. Certified sensors, real-time cloud tracking, and package-level monitoring ensure that the vaccines are well out of harm’s way.

If we talk about top-notch vaccine monitoring, Logmore’s data loggers feature around seven to eight certified sensors that track and monitor every essential node of the vaccine cold chain. Moreover, Logmore’s cloud keeps you connected with all the latest information so that you can stay in full power and control.

Final words

Efficient and affordable vaccine cold chain monitoring is important. And that’s where Logmore’s data loggers can help you to revitalize your vaccine cold chain monitoring program. Invest in Logmore’s data loggers to revamp the whole course of your vaccine cold chain. If you're working with Covid-19 vaccines, learn more about Logmore Dry Ice, built for deep freeze monitoring.