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Vaccine cold storage requirements

2 Minute Read

Vaccines, which are classified as sensitive biological substances and prescription-only medicines (POMs) must be stored at the correct temperature in a specialist pharmacy fridge.

Storing vaccines outside of their recommended temperature, including during transport, can cause irreversible damage and potency, which could result in the failure of the vaccine, leading to an undesired immune response and poor protection for the patient being immunised. In addition to this, incorrect storage of vaccines also results in unnecessary costs and waste for the pharmacy sector.

With this in mind, anyone responsible for vaccines should follow the guidelines as set out by Public Health England regarding cold chain compliance while adhering to best practices for individual vaccines as supplied by manufacturers.

What is cold chain?

Cold chain compliance refers to the cold temperature conditions in which certain products, including vaccines, are required to be kept in during storage and distribution. While the exact temperature will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, typically these range from +2ºC to +8ºC until the point of administration.

It is important that vaccines are never frozen. This is because it can result in their deterioration and loss of enhanced potency, while increasing the reactogenicity. More specifically, the emulsions in the vaccines can become unstable, hairline cracks may appear in pre-filled syringes or vials, and the vaccine's proteins may become denatured. At Mercatus Bioscience we have specifically developed our cooling solutions with antifreeze security that regulates the cooling unit to ensure the temperature does not go below +2ºC. This ensures that samples are never subjected to freezing temperatures thus compromising the stability of the sample.

For more information or advice scientific cooling solutions, contact our team today.