Staff Training is Critical
Provide all vaccination staff proper training in cold chain supply, freezer operations, and frozen sample handling.
Ultra Low Freezer (ULT) Selection Must Meet Local Requirements
- Choose lab freezers with the widest temperature range to accommodate vaccine candidates and choose the smallest freezer required.
- Confirm the power configuration available in your lab before purchase, especially in areas with low-grade power supply.
- Have a dedicated backup power system in place in case of a power outage.
- Install an independent internal thermometer sensor to log/alert against temperature fluctuations. Ensure internet or Wi-Fi access and send alerts to multiple staff.
Ultra Low Freezer (ULT) Installation Requires a Specific Storage Area
- Each lab freezer requires an independent circuit. Ensure outlets are on an emergency circuit with built-in redundancy.
- Ensure the room where the freezer will be housed can handle additional heat load. ULT units will increase humidity and temperature.
- ULT Lab freezers need to pull air in and exhaust without restriction.
Check clearance requirements outlined by each manufacturer before purchase.
ULT Lab Freezer Operation and Maintenance must be Coordinated
- Access to vaccines needs a strict procedure for how staff will manage door openings. Aim for a few short door openings to avoid freezer temperature fluctuations. Allow the freezer to return to set temperature.
- Avoid an empty unit. If you do not have products to fill the unit, consider adding empty aluminum racks to fill it.
- Regularly clean the condenser and gaskets to prevent ice formation, especially around doors.
- Ensure Ultra Low Freezers are calibrated for accuracy of temperature display.
Ultra Low Freezer (ULT) Emergency Planning
- Draft an emergency plan in case of freezer failure, power outage, natural disaster, and other common hazards.
- Have a written procedure for transferring specimens to alternative storage (e.g., dry ice).