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National Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines for Immunization Providers (2007)

Section 5 Temperature Monitoring

Contents

5.1 Checking and Recording Temperatures

  1. Post a temperature log on the vaccine storage unit door. Use the Temperature Log For Vaccines (Celsius) in the Resources Section.
  2. Read the thermometers in both the refrigerator and freezer at least twice a day for all storage units, including those with continuous temperature monitoring and recording devices: once in the morning when the door is opened for the first time, and again at the end of the clinic day just before the door is closed for the last time. Remember: Min/max thermometers must be reset regularly (after properly recording temperatures) for meaningful readings. (See Section 3—Vaccine Storage Equipment for more details.) The room temperature should also be read at the same time to establish awareness of how ambient temperature affects the vaccine storage. Room temperatures may be read with a standard household thermometer
  3. Record the temperatures in numerical values on the temperature log each time the thermometers are read for the refrigerator, freezer and the room. Remember to record the minimum and maximum temperatures for the refrigerator and freezer.

    Also include:

    • Date and time
    • Initials of the person recording
    • Comments, if appropriate
  4. If a temperature reading is missed, the log entry should remain blank.
  5. Take immediate action when the temperature in either the refrigerator or freezer is outside the recommended range for vaccine storage. Document the action taken. (Use the Temperature Log for Vaccines (Celsius) and the Vaccine Storage Troubleshooting Record in the Resources Section.)

Record the temperature in the refrigerator, freezer and room twice daily. Remember to record the minimum and maximum temperatures for the refrigerator and freezer.

Take immediate action when the temperature in either the refrigerator or freezer is outside the recommended range for vaccine storage.

5.2 Reviewing Temperature Logs

If other staff are monitoring and recording the temperatures, the designated vaccine coordinator should review the log weekly to ensure proper temperature recording and to note trends in refrigerator and freezer temperatures. In some jurisdictions log books must be submitted prior to ordering vaccine.

The designated vaccine coordinator should review the log weekly to ensure proper temperature recording and to note trends in refrigerator and freezer temperatures.

5.3 Noting Equipment Failures and Room Temperatures

When a mechanical malfunction or power outage occurs, record the following:

  • Date and time
  • Storage unit temperature
  • Room temperature where the vaccine storage unit is located
    • A standard household thermometer may be used.
    • Do not use the thermometer from the vaccine storage unit.
    • Do not rely on the temperature displayed by the room thermostat.
  • Problem
  • Actions taken
  • Results
  • Initials

Record the information on the temperature log or on a jurisdictionally determined document.

Use the Temperature Log for Vaccines (Celsius) and the Vaccine Storage Troubleshooting Record in the Resources Section.

If a mechanical malfunction or power outage has occurred, the room temperature where the vaccine storage unit is kept should also be recorded.

5.4 Maintaining Temperature Logs

Maintaining an ongoing file of temperature logs and equipment failures will help to track recurring problems for vaccine storage units. It will also contribute to quality assurance assessment. Completed logs should be stored for legal purposes for the period of time determined by the local jurisdiction.

5.5 Using Alarm Systems

Facilities storing large vaccine inventories should consider installing continuous monitoring temperature alarm systems with round-the-clock notification of appropriate personnel to help prevent substantial financial loss. Even if alarm systems are used, temperatures must be checked and recorded twice a day.