As a leading topic of discussion in today’s world, vaccines and immunizations are known as one of the most significant subjects of debate in the public health community. Vaccines are responsible for not only saving millions of lives every year but are the reason behind the elimination of major diseases such as small pox.
While most people understand the basics of vaccination, many are unaware of the science and strict regulations behind them. One of these strict regulations include temperature control. Vaccines are classified as biological products that can become inactive over a certain period of time. When a vaccine is exposed to a temperature below or above the recommended range, the vaccine can easily lose its potency.
The process of maintaining good practice through vaccine delivery and production is also known as cold chain. Cold chain is defined as a means to ensure constant temperature for a product that is not heat stable from the time it is manufactured until the time it is used.
Prior to the early 2000s, the main concern of vaccines referred to how much heat they were exposed to. To solve this issue, pharmaceutical companies invested in refrigerators and coolers that could be easily transported. With strict guidelines for providing adequate refrigerator conditions, companies were required to get regular inspections on the refrigerators, complete an annual calibration of the temperature gauge, and required to place the fridge in a suitable position.
While using the refrigerators as a convenient method of transportation, researchers developed a concern of the vaccines being exposed to freezing temperatures which could affect the properties of the vaccines.
After these findings and further research, scientists developed alternate vaccines which were made from properties meant to withstand harsh temperatures without alternating the potency. According to Science Direct, since 2007, the number of freeze-sensitive vaccines procured by UNICEF Supply Division for countries immunization programs increased by 50%. In 2015, freeze-sensitive vaccines obtained through UNICEF totaled a value of $1.2 billion USD, highlighting the importance of monitoring vaccine exposure to “too cold” temperatures.
While it is critical to take preventative steps to avoid vaccine freezing or overheating, MadgeTech provides an innovative solution that offers quality care for vaccines. The Vaccine Temperature Monitoring System (VTMS), is ideal for the continuous measurement and data logging of temperature sensitive vaccines or pharmaceuticals in refrigerators, freezers, and coolers.