Covid-19 vaccines are now being administered to millions of people all over the world. The Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioTech vaccines will all essentially do the same job in protecting people against the virus but have to be stored and transported in exact conditions. It offers an enormous challenge. Thankfully though, they’ll get assistance from temperature monitoring sensor technology, which has advanced dramatically over the last decade.
Now the vaccines are here, a huge amount of pressure has been put on the supply chain and it will be important to take decisions that help mitigate waste and make sure vaccines are stored in correct temperatures to remain effective. Deputy chief medical Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the vaccine needed to be deployed fast and at the highest possible volume. This indicates the margin of error could be high, with the potential of thousands of vaccines and money being wasted.
Like the majority of consumables, vaccines do have a shelf life. On their journey from factory to hospitals and vaccination sites, it’s critical to avoid them becoming damaged. The New Scientist reported the vaccine must be kept at -70° C and to maintain that temperature they need reliable freezers. Whilst the other vaccines don’t need to be kept quite as cold, temperatures still need to be maintained continuously.
To minimise damage to vaccines, it’s common for businesses to use portable freezer units and temperature monitoring systems, as we provide at OpsBase. You’ll probably have an idea of how important fridge temperature sensors are in hospitals, labs and anywhere vaccines are stored across the supply chain.
Managing Vaccines and the Cold Supply Chain
COVID-19 vaccines will be locked in packaging, freezers and fridges all along the supply chain, with temperature readings being tracked by those in charge of the transportation. This is a remarkable technological advancement and it simply did not exist more than five years ago. The ability to have this part of the process automated is huge and takes away from human error – misreading stats and getting things wrong – which ultimately leads to more damaged vaccines and consumables.
Medical fridge monitoring technology and how to store vaccines isn’t just the concern of localised labs – it’s also critical throughout the supply chain. The supply chain for a vaccine, specifically one as important as this, is very different from a regular supply chain and it has more precise requirements. Transportation of 40 million vaccines, minimum, is not straightforward and requires the control and trackability of transport solutions. In this situation, the supply chain can reduce the risk of error and loss with automated monitoring of medical freezer and fridge temperatures.
How OpsBase can help
At OpsBase we provide a number of automated sensor monitoring solutions including critical temperature logging. Utilised for anything which needs to be kept in strict temperatures, like vaccines, our reliable temperature monitoring provides efficiency and accuracy.
As well as an automated audit trail of recorded data captured throughout each day, alerts will be sent in real-time to all connected devices as soon as temperatures change and rise above safe thresholds. This allows for your staff to take immediate remedial action. It also takes away from human error, which could have devastating effects for anything that needs to be handled with absolute precision.
If you would like to know more about OpsBase temperature sensors and how they help throughout the cold supply chain, contact us today.
Content Marketing Executive
Carmelo has years of experience in marketing, loves of all things tech and is a regular contributor to the OpsBase blog. He enjoys writing almost as much as he enjoys eating crunchy peanut butter and is likely to be found doing one or the other at any given point in time.