Are you using household refrigerator/freezers? How can you be confident that your vaccines haven’t been compromised? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Storage & Handling Toolkit aims to provide guidance on these and other questions. Published in 2014, the Toolkit discusses Vaccine Cold Chain, Transportation, Storage and Handling Plans, Temperature Monitoring Equipment, Best Practices and more. More recently, the CDC released new requirements for all Vaccines for Children (VFC) suppliers, tightening restrictions on VFC storage.
Storage and Handling Plans
If you are using household combination refrigerator/freezers, please note that per the new CDC guidelines, these will no longer be allowable for VFC storage. For refrigerator-only and freezer-only units, general recommendations include developing a Routine Vaccine Storage and Handling Plan and an Emergency Vaccine Retrieval and Storage Plan, with annual updates. If you are a VFC provider, you are advised to contact your immunization program for their guidance on these plans.
The following are VFC vaccine storage guidelines to note:
- Maintain proper refrigerator and freezer temperatures
- Do not place food or beverage in the unit
- Do not place vaccines on the doors, the floor, or in drawers
- Group vaccines by type
- Place a NIST-certified calibrated probe in the center next to vaccines
Resources on proper vaccine storage and handling are available through the CDC, including:
- Vaccine Temperature Best Practices
- Vaccine Storage Best Practices
Failure to meet these requirements may result in a citation under public record. Our Mesa representatives are available to discuss any questions you may have regarding the new requirements, and how we can help you prepare for these changes. Please contact us today.
Learn more about Vaccines for Children.
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