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.
According to the evidence brief published by World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF entitled, “Temperature monitoring study: a fully documented process to detect weaknesses in the supply chain,” immunization is one of the most powerful and cost-effective of all health interventions. Execution of a “well-functioning” cold chain is the key to having an effective immunization program. Millions of lives are saved every year because of vaccines which prevent deadly diseases, but failure to maintain the proper temperatures creates the risk that vaccines will be rendered ineffective. When vaccines are compromised, patients who have received them must be re-inoculated. Furthermore, individuals desiring a vaccine experience delays in receiving it. Of course, money is also lost, because vaccines which are no longer potent must be discarded. An estimated $34 billion dollars is lost each year due to temperature excursions.
Public health departments recommend using continuous monitoring devices to capture data over a span of time. This allows staff to see the temperature history of a vaccine and to determine how long a vaccine may have been outside of the prescribed temperature range. However, an increasing number of public health departments within the US are encouraging the utilization of real-time monitoring. Often more cost-effective, use of real-time monitoring also eliminates the labor costs associated with designating a staff member to manually document temperature readings. As an added benefit, real-time monitoring eliminates the possibility for human error. Alerts can be sent to multiple stakeholders via email or text message, providing an opportunity for quick response, thereby preventing vaccine losses. Temperature data can be viewed from any internet-enabled computer, so there’s no need for a staff member to disconnect and download a device to access the temperature data.
DeltaTrak offers real-time in-transit and reusable vaccine temperature monitoring solutions to meet the needs of your immunization program. Our devices can even monitor vaccines with the most extreme temperature requirements, including those stored and shipped in dry ice or liquid nitrogen. Features such as light sensors inform stakeholders of possible tampering. Our buffered sensors prevent false alarms. For more information on DeltaTrak’s real-time vaccine monitoring solutions contact us at 800-962-6776.