Purpose Built Vaccine Refrigerators
Domestic refrigerators have numerous disadvantages when it comes to storing vaccines, some of which are very serious, including:
- The latest National vaccine storage guidelines (Strive for 5) no longer allows the use of a domestic fridge for storing vaccines.
- They are frequently incapable of complying with the 2-8oC temperature range required for optimal vaccine storage. If the temperature drops to 0oC, the vaccines can be frozen, rendering them impotent. Elevated temperatures can also make the vaccines ineffective. This could lead to patients been given vaccines that won’t protect them, and/or you having to discard thousands of dollars worth of vaccines.
- Cyclic defrost refrigerators are not recommended as they have wide temperature fluctuations and heating cycles.
- Bar refrigerators are strongly not recommended because of the risk of freezing, wide temperature fluctuations and susceptibility to ambient temperature.
- Most domestic refrigerators are not fan-forced and have poor temperature recovery after the door has been opened.
NEVER store vaccines in a bar fridge
Purpose built vaccine refrigerators like the ones that ENLAKE sells offer numerous advantages, including:
- Management of a purpose-built vaccine refrigerator is simpler than for a domestic fridge.
- The fridge temperature will be maintained in the 2oC to 8oC range. This minimises the risk of vaccines being stored outside the recommended temperature range and becoming impotent.
- The temperature within a purpose-built vaccine fridge is similar throughout the whole fridge. This is achieved by careful management of airflow and the positioning of the evaporator and shelves.
- Vaccine refrigerators have good temperature recovery after a door has been opened. This is achieved by using larger compressors.
- There is more usable space for storing vaccines as there is no need to stack low drawers and the doors with ice/gel packs and water/saltwater bottles as is recommended for domestic fridges in Strive for 5.
- Other temperature-sensitive medical products such pharmaceuticals may be stored in a vaccine refrigerator.
- External temperature display with minimum and maximum values aids compliance.
- A vaccine refrigerator will alarm when the minimum and maximum temperatures limits are breached.
- A vaccine refrigerator will automatically defrost, whilst maintaining a 2oC to 8oC temperature range.
- A vaccine refrigerator will have a lockable door.
- Vaccine refrigerators are available with glass doors.
- A vaccine refrigerator will meet the medical accreditation requirements of AGPAL and QPA.
- The Pharmacy Guild requires accredited pharmacists to have purpose-built vaccine refrigerator. All but the large volume pharmacy/vaccine refrigerators sold by ENLAKE meet are Quality Care Pharmacy Program approved. The larger fridges still meet the requirements but need to have the temperature inside the fridge logged and approved by the Pharmacy Guild before the fridge can be stocked.