Since the DSCSA (Drug Supply Chain Security Act) was introduced and approved by Congress and the Senate there has been a real concerted effort to reach total compliance aided by the International Standards champion GS1 who has worked to insure US and Global compliance.
COVID-19 vaccines, like all vaccines, are extremely sensitive to temperature variations, and require that specific temperature parameters are maintained. To help vaccine providers adhere to the temperature requirements, public health departments strongly recommend the utilization of continuous monitoring digital data loggers. Some public health departments are also recommending real-time vaccine monitoring.
These days, we’re all familiar with the importance of vaccines. You can read about the success rates of different vaccines and get a certain peace-of-mind. However, as the vaccines move down the supply chain from the production or primary storage facility, the vaccines can lose some of their potency—largely due to temperature abuses the vaccines experience. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a “Temperature monitoring study: a fully documented process to detect weaknesses in the supply chain” showing why effective temperature monitoring is critical.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine shipping at extremely low temperatures has been in the news lately. But, such cold temperature shipping is really not new. Shipping and storing with dry ice and liquid nitrogen are the norm for some industries and products.
Which COVID vaccine will you get?
The big debate taking place these days, around every watercooler and kitchen table, is whether or not to obtain the COVID vaccine. The other point of discussion, of course, is which vaccine individuals will receive.
Monitoring vaccine temperature can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Separating the task into different components and answering two key questions makes it much easier. First, which vaccine do you need to monitor—Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson? Second, are you looking for a temperature monitoring product to use during the vaccine transport or during storage?
Of the three COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), the Pfizer vaccine requires the most extreme temperature conditions.
In the world of monitoring coronavirus vaccines during storage and handling, there are three general temperature profiles. These profiles include refrigerated 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F), frozen -25°C to -15°C (-13°F to 5°F), and ultra-low temperature -80°C to -60°C (-112°F to -76°F). A data logger is used to provide complete monitoring and a record of temperatures of which vaccines have been exposed. The logger enables you to ensure that your vaccines’ potency is preserved and that they have not experienced any temperature excursions.
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