Vaccine management during storm season  

In Central Queensland, News, Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay by Jasmin Midgley

by Central Queensland Public Health Unit | Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service  

It is that time of the year when we expect storms and power outages to occur.  We need to be prepared to reduce the impact these weather events have on our vaccines.  Please ensure that you have adequate eskies to store all the vaccines [loosely packed].  Each esky will need to have enough ice bricks, packaging material [bubble wrap plus scrunched paper etc] and a digital thermometer.  You will need a temperature record sheet available to monitor the vaccines in each esky.

An effective way to slow down the heating process in your purpose-built vaccine fridge once the power has gone off is to have bottles of water or chilled ice packs in the fridge.  NOTE:  we had previously advised to cover the glass doors, however Strive for 5 now advises NOT to do this.
Please remove any cover your practice may use, and ensure all staff are aware this recommendation has changed.

Strive for 5 advises the cover interferes with air circulation around the outside of the fridge.  Be warned that a glass fronted vaccine fridge can breach within 20 minutes.

If you do have a cold chain breach please remember to isolate your vaccine to ensure no one uses any, and contact QIP on 3328 9888 on the next working day (QIP closes on 23rd Dec & returns 2nd Jan).

Please continue to monitor the temperature of the vaccines, and do not use or discard any government vaccines until further advice is given by the PHU to do so.

Can we also take this opportunity to ask you to ensure your data logger is set to read at 3 minute intervals [preferably]?   5 minutely as a maximum interval is acceptable.  An interval longer than this makes determining duration of breaches more difficult.  In a 15min period, it is easier to make a determination with 5 readings, rather than only 3, or even less readings.  We would appreciate your support with this request.

 

Will your practice closing beyond the 23rd December to 1st January holiday period?

As you know it is acceptable to leave vaccines unattended during the extended Christmas and New Year holiday period as purpose built vaccine fridges and data loggers will continue to monitor the fridge temperatures;  however if you intend to be away longer than this period, we ask that you let your closest Hospital and Health Service Public Health Unit know as soon as possible to consider alternative vaccine storage arrangements.