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. Pfizer temperature monitoring products must be able to work well between -80°C and -60°C (-112°F and -76°F) for vaccines in transit and when the vaccines are stored in a freezer. For the Moderna vaccine, the loggers and thermometers must be able to work well between -25°C and -15°C (-13°F to 5°F) for vaccines in transit or when stored in a freezer. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires less extreme temperatures and may be transported and stored at standard refrigerator temperatures between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F). It is critical that a temperature monitoring product that is built to support these temperature is used. Once a product designed to operate at the required temperatures is chosen, attention should be focused on whether the product is needed for transport or storage at the facility given the vaccines.
For transporting vaccines, single use temperature loggers and indicators are used. These devices monitor and track the conditions that the vaccine is exposed to during transport and provide alerts when these devices have experienced temperature excursions outside of the required range. This monitoring is critical in preventing the administration of compromised vaccines which may have lost some or all of their potency.
For vaccine storage and handling at hospitals, pharmacies and doctor offices, reusable loggers and thermometers are used to monitor and track conditions inside freezers and refrigerators. These devices ensure that the temperature is maintained with alerts given for temperatures outside of the required range—often for a much longer period of time rather than for a single trip.