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CDC Adjusts Vaccine Storage Temperatures

7/20/16 8:36 AM

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published their 2016 Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit. The 82-page document outlines best practices for the proper transportation, storage, and monitoring of vaccines as established by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

This year's Toolkit contains a major adjustment in CDC's guidance for those who measure stored vaccine temperatures in Fahrenheit. Although the Celsius scale is the preferred method of measurement for the scientific and medical communities, many vaccine temperature data loggers are configured to display Fahrenheit temperatures so they can be monitored by laymen and women in popular flu clinic locations such as schools and community centers. Previously, it was recommended that vaccines be stored between 35 °F and 46 °F. Now, the lower end of that range has shifted up a single degree, meaning that vaccines should be stored between 36 °F and 46 °F. This new range aligns better to the recommendations of most vaccine manufacturers. Those who measure temperatures in Celsius are unaffected by this shift, as the Celsius temperature range of 2 °C – 8 °C remains the same.

It is important to note that this adjustment does not constitute a temperature excursion for vaccines that have been stored within the old range. Vaccines that were maintained at 35 °F need not be thrown away as long as that temperature is compliant with the manufacturer's specifications. The CDC does stress, however, that all digital data loggers (DDLs) used for vaccine temperature monitoring should have their Fahrenheit temperature range and alarms reprogrammed to reflect the shift.

MadgeTech manufactures a variety of digital temperature data loggers with applications in vaccine monitoring. The MadgeTech Vaccine Temperature Monitoring System (VTMS) offers real-time, continuous vaccine temperature monitoring that, in conjunction with MadgeTech Cloud Services, provides industry best protection and accountability.

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