The Importance of a Temperature Sensor for Vaccine Storage

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Humans have battled with infectious diseases from the dawn of time, and while there were a few vaccines utilized in past centuries, it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that vaccine research and development really hit high gear. Many common childhood diseases have been controlled completely or nearly so because of medical innovations in vaccine research. Along with these advances has come a challenge – how to properly store vaccines so they remain viable and safe.

The use of a temperature sensor is necessary

The use of a temperature sensor is necessary so that if a stored vaccine falls out of range, it can be disposed of properly, if necessary, or noted as off-label. While a majority of vaccines are kept refrigerated, there are some that can be frozen. In both cases, the temperature must be controlled and be kept consistent. Several vaccines have an acceptable temperature range of 2°C to 8°C. These include all DTaP vaccines, Hib vaccines, Hep A and Hep B vaccines, Gardasil, LAIV FluMist, IIV, Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccines, MPSV4, PCV13, IPV:IPOL, RV1/RV5, and Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoid and Tdap. Other vaccines, such as MMR, VAR (Chickenpox/Shingles), MMRV, and Zostavas (herpes) require a temperature range of -50°C to -14°C.

A temperature sensor should be used at all stages of production, distribution, and storage of vaccines. This is known as the “cold chain.” Not all vaccines that fall out of temperature range temporarily are unsafe to use or even less effective.  If they have been deemed to be safe and effective, they still must be considered “off-label” from that point on. If the time has been too long, the vaccines are not effective and should be discarded.

If your company is involved with vaccine storage at any phase of the cold chain, give us a call at Global Sensors to discuss the right temperature sensor for your needs. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to help with your selection and answer any questions you might have.