Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proper vaccine refrigeration vital to putting disease on ice

Date:
January 28, 2010
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Researchers have completed the first of a series of tests to determine best practices for properly storing and monitoring the temperature of refrigerated vaccines.

According to a NIST study, vaccines that have not been removed from their packaging (most often a cardboard box), retain their temperature longer than those that have been unpacked and placed in trays. Moreover, the standard-sized refrigerators' ability to maintain proper temperature was unaffected by how much vaccine the researchers stored in the refrigerator, a characteristic that was not shared by the dormitory style refrigerators.
Credit: NIST

Every year, billions of dollars worth of vaccines are shipped to thousands of medical providers across the country, and every year doctors must dispose of tens of millions of dollars worth of those vaccines because they became too warm or too cold while in storage.

Related Articles


Now, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with funding from and in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have completed the first of a series of tests to determine best practices for properly storing and monitoring the temperature of refrigerated vaccines.

Their initial findings will be included in a CDC training video and report to be released July 2010.

To ensure they are effective, most vaccines must be kept between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius from the time they are manufactured until they are administered. In addition to the cost of spoiled vaccines that must be destroyed, lack of temperature control probably has resulted in the administering of ineffective vaccinations to the public in a small, but significant, percentage of cases.

In this first phase of a larger study, NIST researchers compared standard-sized refrigerators without freezers against smaller, dormitory-style refrigerators under a variety of conditions, storage practices and use scenarios, including leaving the refrigerator door ajar for various periods, power loss and raising the ambient temperature of the room.

The NIST Thermometry group found that standard-sized, freezerless refrigerators outperformed the smaller, dormitory refrigerators by every measure, but the study also identified several good practices for vaccine storage. Among other things, the group determined that vaccines should never be kept on the door shelves because the relative lack of insulation in the door allowed unacceptable temperature drifts. Vaccines also should be kept away from the walls of the refrigerator, because the defrost cycle can cause the temperature of the walls to shift, and out of the crispers usually found at the very bottom of standard refrigerators because these areas were often shown to drop below 2 degrees Celsius.

In addition, they found that water bottles kept on the door shelves provided thermal ballast which helps to mitigate temperature rises caused by power failure, leaving the door ajar or raising the temperature of the room where the refrigerator is kept.

"While we don't advocate any particular brand of refrigerator, we can say that the standard-sized freezerless refrigerators perform very well, but the dorm-style refrigerators do not and should not be used for storing vaccines," says NIST physicist Gregory Strouse. "Among the many recommendations that we have made, we think one of the most positive upshots of this research is that medical clinics in most cases need not spend several thousand dollars on a pharmaceutical grade refrigerator simply for the purpose of storing vaccines."

The NIST group plans to do further comparisons of standard-sized refrigerators with freezers and pharmaceutical grade refrigerators and begin evaluations of strategies for transporting vaccines overland. They also intend to study various styles of temperature sensors for use in shipping.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Proper vaccine refrigeration vital to putting disease on ice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100126175828.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2010, January 28). Proper vaccine refrigeration vital to putting disease on ice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100126175828.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Proper vaccine refrigeration vital to putting disease on ice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100126175828.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins