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Summary

We study provider-level vaccine storage and temperature monitoring methods to develop best practice guidance for public health audiences.

Description

Alex Rodriguez with data logger

Alexandra Rodriguez demonstrating the broken contact style of data logger.

Our group examines best practices for the storage and monitoring of vaccines in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Supply and Assurance Branch. Vaccines are highly temperature sensitive, and inappropriate storage conditions can render them ineffective. Healthcare providers rely on refrigerators, freezers, thermometers, and transport systems to keep their vaccines safe prior to administration.

The project was initiated in support of the CDC’s Vaccines for Children program, which distributes approximately $4 billion worth of federally-subsidized vaccines to underinsured U.S. children each year. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our group has pivoted to assist with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, addressing critical questions related to the transport and monitoring of frozen vaccine. We’ve also played a vital role in the first effort to standardize vaccine storage equipment in the U.S., through the development of an NSF/ANSI standard.
 

Research topics include:

  • Provider-level vaccine transport, including packout preparation using coolers, conditioned frozen water bottles, and phase change material (PCM) cold packs
  • Vaccine clinic operations requiring vaccine transport, temporary storage, and repeated opening of a cooler
  • Vaccine temperature monitoring, including digital data loggers (DDLs) and calibration strategies
  • Vaccine storage equipment, including consumer grade and purpose-built or pharmaceutical grade refrigerators and freezers

Related VideO

Ice Point Calibration
Greg Strouse, Leader of the NIST Thermodynamic Metrology Group, and his colleague Luis Chavez (NIST guest researcher from Costa Rica / LACOMET) show how to properly realize an ice point calibration for digital thermometers used in the field, specifically for vaccine storage.

Related Blog

Created May 4, 2021, Updated May 5, 2021