The CDC has compiled a short checklist around "Temperature Excursion" and the necessary steps to undertake if a vaccine goes out of temperature range. Click here for the official document for additional pointers outside of Temperature@lert's suggestions. Add these suggestions to your recovery routines, and stay ahead of your next CDC check by having these standards in place.
General Power Loss
- Determine the length of the power outage: Some vaccines can be subjected to small variations in temperature, while others may be more sensitive to changes
- Initiate generator backup systems: These should serve as the secondary backbone for your entire system. Make sure to test generator systems, as a malfunctioning generator can be extremely costly.
Presumed Unit Malfunction
- Check door seals: Note any gaps, leaks, or rips in the seal to maintenance/technicians.
- Check dust on coils/compressors
- Record all measured temperatures.
- Re-Check temperatures every 15-30 minutes as needed: This is a precautionary measure to prevent temperature excursions during an outage or malfunction.
- Space between vaccines (divide refrigerators/freezers into sections)
- Check the location of temperature monitors/sensors (away from vents)
- Contact HVAC/R technician/manufacturer immediately
Disposing of Vaccines
- Mark any tainted vaccine "DO NOT USE": This will eliminate confusion for employees that may have been absent or unaware of the failure/malfunction.
- Re-record and check all temperatures to determine excursion extent: Make certain that all vaccines that have had extended excursions (over 1 hour) are immediately disposed.
- Double-check the functionality of alternative storage units
- Move all unaffected vaccines to the alternative storage units
- Replace temperature sensors that have failed from power loss: If possible, purchase a temperature monitoringdevice with a backup battery and/or power loss notifications. This will prevent temperature excursions in the future, and will prevent temperature sensors from going offline during an outage (when measurement of temperature is the most critical!)
- Back-up temperature data and logs to a second source