Vaccine Storage Guidelines

Here at CSK Group, we regularly receive enquiries about the storage of vaccines. Vaccines are sensitive biological substances. They can have their potency reduced, or destroyed altogether, when stored below +2°C, above +8°C, and when exposed to light.

The National Vaccine Storage Guidelines – ‘Strive for 5’ – outlines the requirements and best practices for the management of vaccine storage. According to these guidelines, a ‘cold chain breach’ has occurred if vaccine storage temperatures have been outside the recommended range of +2°C to +8°C. It excludes fluctuations up to +12°C, lasting no longer than 15 minutes, as may occur when stock taking or restocking refrigerators[1].

Our  are purpose-built for the safe storage of vaccines and medical products. Unlike a regular refrigerator, the temperature within the cabinet is uniform, stable and controlled between +2°C and +8°C. These specialist refrigerators alarm if the temperature is out of range and when the door is left open. The inbuilt data logger with memory keeps track of the temperature inside the cabinet, how often the door is opened, and when alarms occurred. It is simple to comply with temperature recording requirements, as this data can be easily downloaded using a USB.

By using a purpose-built fridge and implementing procedures in the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines, any cold chain breaches can be identified and managed before vaccines are damaged or ineffective vaccines are administered.

For more information about our Pinnacle Pharmacy Refrigerators, contact our Customer Service team on 1300 358 045 or sales@cskgroup.com.au.

[1]Vaccine Storage Guidelines 2013, Strive for 5, 2nd Edition: 2

Heat waves and refrigeration

Currently, vast areas of Australia are experiencing extreme heat conditions. During these hot conditions, we rely more than ever on our refrigerators to keep things cool. However, if the temperature of the room (ambient temperature) where the fridge or freezer is stored rises as well, it can fail to keep the inside of the device at the required temperature and cause the compressor to overwork. When storing temperature-sensitive products, a breach in cold chain protocols can cost organisations thousands of dollars.

In order to keep the contents of a cabinet cold, the refrigerant (a liquid stored at high pressure) absorbs the heat inside the fridge and evaporates into gas. Then the compressor pushes the vapour at high pressure through the coils on the outside of the refrigerator, where the cooler air of the room condenses the gas to liquid, and so the cycle continues.

If the ambient temperature in the room is similar or above the temperature of the gas, the heat won’t transfer into the air and the gas won’t be converted to liquid as efficiently. As a result, the compressor will overwork and struggle to remove heat from the inside of the unit. This can damage the temperature-sensitive products.

Here at CSK Group, we have engineered the Pinnacle fridges and freezers with specific consideration to the harsh Australian conditions. Our ‘S’ series units are rated to operate effectively in temperatures up to 32°C and 60% RH (relative humidity), which is best suited to the Australian market. These products are the least likely to fail during extreme heat conditions.

So, what can be done to reduce failure rates and power consumption of refrigerators and freezers? Use an air conditioner to maintain the ambient temperature below the manufacturer guidelines and regularly service your unit to ensure it is operating efficiently. Taking these simple steps will help ensure the products you store are kept safe and save money and inconvenience in the future.