Aug 20th 2018

laboratory freezer

It doesn’t take much of a mental stretch to know why vaccine spoilage should be avoided at all costs. Annually, innumerable vaccines are discarded because of improper storage practices. Around the world, there are 24 million children who don’t have access to the necessary vaccines needed before they turn one year old.

With the amount of need across the planet, there’s no room for wasted vaccines when proper storage and transportation practices are so easy. Avoiding vaccine spoilage comes mainly with proper attention to detail and record keeping. Let’s look at a few ways you can help cut down the number of vaccines wasted every year.

The future is now, get there

The dark ages on manual data entry are long since past. There are software and hardware both that automate record keeping for vaccines. Where there was once room for excessive human error, automation has become our ally. Let it record strictly followed controls for you.

Vaccine storage refrigerators

Most vaccines are lost because of temperature control failures, faulty medical refrigerators, and poor planning in emergency situations. Vaccine refrigerators, laboratory freezers, and any medical grade refrigerators are not fail-proof. They’re still machines that malfunction. Fail-safes should be kept and kept running, regular monitoring must be documented (automation enters here again), and action should be swiftly taken when a piece of equipment isn’t performing perfectly.

Educate your staff

As much as software and hardware can do to remove error from the duties of vaccine storage, the medical field still revolves around people helping people. That means the people in your department need to have sufficient knowledge to guarantee they know how to handle vaccines. If that knowledge isn’t provided, at least on the base level, vaccination waste because of human error becomes your own fault. Educate, train, and refresh, such that little blips in practice don’t cause wasteful, yet avoidable errors.

The delicate balance between human beings and machines ensures that vaccines remain unspoiled, ready to save countless lives and stop illnesses. The next time you’re tempted to take your laboratory freezer for granted, think about all the lives that have potentially been preserved by keeping vaccines in a box that’s the proper temperature.

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