Your in-store pharmacy staff provides patients with quality service and advice every day. From dispensing prescriptions and screening for drug interactions to administering vaccinations, your staff delivers excellence. But how are you ensuring that the vaccines dispensed are maintaining their potency?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that only the use of purpose-built or pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators and freezers is recommended for the storage of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals.1 The guidelines do not, however, extend to the performance standards of products marketed as purpose-built or pharmaceutical-grade. Missing or insufficient temperature control and logistical problems in the cold chain result in an estimated global vaccine wastage rate as high as 50% across all vaccine types, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).2
To address this unmet need for performance standards for storage products that meet the qualifications for safe vaccine storage, the CDC-sponsored NSF/ANSI standard (NSF 456) was released in 2021. The standard outlines the importance of ensuring protection from freezing, tight temperature uniformity, rapid recovery following door openings and other requirements essential to continued vaccine viability. The storage and handling of vaccines is the only step within cold chain management that can be controlled by pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, public health institutions and other facilities. Though storage is one small part of the vaccine cold chain, proper storage and handling is crucial to the continued efficacy of vaccines.
Dedicated equipment for vaccine storage is the only way to ensure cold chain performance. While frozen products typically tolerate a broader temperature environment, refrigerated products must be kept from warming up or freezing. PHCbi brand pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators and freezers offer a range of models that can help to protect your vaccine inventory and support delivery of viable vaccines.
Accuracy: PHCbi brand refrigerators are factory pre-set at 5°C (41°F) to assure interior storage temperature is sufficiently above the risk point of temperature-sensitive vaccines and other water-based pharmaceuticals. PHCbi brand refrigerators and freezers are engineered from the inside out to create, maintain and restore precise temperatures. Such precision cannot be found in household or commercial cabinets.
Uniformity: Interior temperature uniformity is critical to assure safety of stored inventory regardless of location within the refrigerator.
Ambient tolerance: PHCbi brand refrigerators and freezers are designed to maintain setpoint in busy clinics where frequent door openings are common.
PHCbi brand pharmaceutical grade refrigerators and freezers offer the reassurance your pharmacy or clinic needs in undercounter, sliding-door and swing door model. Combination refrigerator/freezer models are also available. Visit us at https://phchd.com/us/biomedical/vaccine-storage to learn more.
1 “Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit,” Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), March 2021, 8, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/storage/toolkit/index.html.
2 “Why Optimized cold-chains could save a billion COVID vaccines,” UN Environment Programme, 26 June 2020, https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/why-optimized-cold-chains-could-save-billion-covid-vaccine