Choosing a Vaccine FridgeENLAKE
The placement of a vaccine refrigerator is critical. There needs to be enough space around a medical fridge to allow air movement. For most vaccine fridges, around 30 mm of clearance is required on each side of the fridge. There are a few models of vaccine fridges that are designed so that no clearance for ventilation is needed at all.
It is best to place the refrigerator in an insulated room and not against an outside wall which is subject to hot and cold with changes in weather. The size of the location will also influence what size fridge you can fit.
The vaccine/pharmacy refrigerator needs to have the capacity to store vaccines safely to meet peak demand, such as pre-influenza programs. It is essential to avoid overpacking as this will impede cold air circulation and put the vaccines at risk. For this reason, it is generally advisable to err on the side of caution and to get a slightly larger vaccine fridge rather than a somewhat smaller one. Vaccine and pharmacy fridges fall into three main capacity ranges:
– Under counter/benchtop vaccine, fridges are typically around 130 to 160 litres in capacity.
– Upright vaccine fridges generally are 350 to 650 litres in capacity.
– Custom made pharmacy/drug fridges are available in sizes of around 600 litres and above.
Glass Door vs Solid Door
See ENLAKE’s information page about the relative benefits of Glass Doors vs Solid Doors.
If you are planning to connect your vaccine fridge to your business’s alarm system, make sure that the vaccine fridge has the ability to do so. Many of the better vaccines fridges come ready-wired to be connected to an external alarm, and some such as from Nuline fridge must be optioned for an external alarm. Terms often used to describe this include: Voltage Free Contacts, Dry Contact, Normally Open/Normally Closed Connection.
Thinks about purchasing a data logger at the same time that you buy a vaccine fridge. Data Loggers record temperature readings at set intervals by electronic means. The stored data can then be downloaded to a computer. Data loggers may be used for audits and to establish the recording patterns of your vaccine fridge over time. They can be especially handy for determining whether a fridge that has exceeded 8 degrees Celsius and if it has done so for less than the critical 15 minutes that are allowed.
Some fridges are now available with systems that can send out alerts by SMS or email if the temperature inside the fridge goes out of the desired range. ENLAKE also has temperature monitoring solutions that may be used with an existing vaccine or laboratory fridges.
Ask if the vaccine fridge has Quality Care Pharmacy Program (QCPP) approval. Some businesses are selling fridges that don’t meet QCPP requirements.