As coronavirus vaccine campaigns expand and more vaccines prepare to come to market, the cold chain has been getting a lot of attention, not just in manufacturing and transportation trade media but in mass media outlets like CNN and The New York Times. An unbroken cold chain for other vaccines and pharmaceutical products has always been a public health issue, but now the issue is more urgent and recognized than ever, due to the unique storage temperature requirements for each coronavirus vaccine.
Whether your business is a small rural clinic, a chain retail pharmacy or health care facility, it’s important to have the right equipment in place to ensure that the vaccines you receive are stored at safe temperatures. It’s also important to have a way to find out fast if there’s a problem with temperature maintenance, so you can save products when possible, get rid of spoiled doses, and fix equipment problems quickly.
Wireless remote temperature sensors that are small, easy to install and have a battery life measured in years rather than months can provide the real-time data monitoring, recordkeeping and alert tools your business needs to protect the vaccines you produce, transport or distribute. Here are the must-haves we recommend, and additions that can make your cold chain compliance program even stronger.
Wireless temperature sensors
Swift Sensors offers two remote temperature sensors that are ideal for vaccine storage monitoring. The Wireless Remote Temperature Sensor (SS3-105) reads a range from -40°C to +125°C, making it ideal for monitoring the Moderna vaccine.
The ultracold storage required by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires a different sensor, the Wireless Sub-Zero Temperature Sensor (SS3-110). It has a reading range of -100°C to +200°C and is built to withstand extreme conditions.
Both types of sensors connect quickly, securely and automatically with the Swift Sensors Gateway 1010 (SG3-1010), which then securely streams the sensors’ data to the cloud via Wi-Fi, Ethernet or a Swift Sensors Cellular Network Module. This small but powerful gateway measures 3.52 by 4.22 inches, so it takes up minimal space in your pharmacy or clinic.
The gateway can be wall-mounted with screws, zip-tied to a post, or placed on an optional tabletop stand.
Swift Sensors Cloud Software
After the gateway sends temperature readings to your cloud account, authorized employees can access them by logging into your Swift Sensors Console account. Here’s where you can see what’s happening in your vaccine storage units in real time, review historical temperature data, set alert thresholds, and generate reports for compliance purposes.
You can access your console from a smartphone, tablet or computer for instant insights no matter where you are.
Other ways to protect your vaccine stock
In addition to the required temperature monitoring equipment, you may want to add a door sensor to each vaccine storage unit, to reduce the risk vaccine damage cause by employees leaving doors open and to alert you if the units are accessed outside business hours.
The Wireless Door Sensor 3-301 can work with the same gateway as our wireless temperature sensors, with real-time and historical data displayed on the same Swift Sensors Cloud Console.
You can also combine wireless video cameras with other sensors to help provide a complete, real-time picture of what’s happening with your vaccine storage units. For example, if you get an SMS alert in the middle of the night that a vaccine storage unit is open at your facility, a live video feed can help you see if the issue was caused by an employee working outside normal hours, a cleaning contractor who accidentally opened the door, or an unauthorized person. You can then take the proper action – calling the employee or contractor to have them close the door or calling the authorities – all without leaving your home. During all of this, your remote temperature sensors will keep collecting readings that you can review to determine if there was a temperature excursion.
Together, these low-cost cold chain monitoring tools can help your business to avoid wasting vaccine and ensure that the vaccine doses you distribute are safe and effective. To learn more about creating a custom cold-chain surveillance package for your business, contact us today.