Nothing illustrates the requirement to store Covid vaccine at proper temperature than the recent case of a Wisconsin nurse who deliberately removed 57 vials of vaccine from a refrigeration unit.  Because most of the vials sat at room temperature for more 12 hours, the vast majority of the more than 500 doses needed to be destroyed.

All Covid vaccines have very specific refrigeration or freezing requirements to maintain efficacy.  Though the Pfizer BNT162b2 and the Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccines are both mRNA vaccines, they have very different environment storage needs.

The Pfizer vaccine is less stable at warmer temperatures and needs to be stored between -112 F and -76 F where as the Moderna vaccine can be stored between -13 F and 5 F.

The difference lies in the sort of lipids that surround the RNA messenger material according to Jessica Atwell, PhD, assistant scientist in the division of global disease epidemiology and control in the department of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a recent VeryWellHealth article.  The different nanoparticle lipids that are used to stabilize the RNA accounts for the difference.

The Astra Zeneca AZD1222 vaccine is a “viral vectored vaccine” meaning it was made from another virus such as an adenovirus. Instead of using a single strand of RNA, the AZD1222 uses a double strand of DNA to prompt an immune response.  DNA is more rugged than RNA so, It is more stable at less extreme temperatures.

Because temperature monitoring for all the Covid-19 vaccines is absolutely essential, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for proper storage for the two CDC approved vaccines.

Both need to be stored in a freezer and may be moved to a refrigerator for a certain period before use.  Refer to the CDC and manufacturer guidance for exact storage instructions.

The refrigeration and freezer temperatures should be checked and recorded in a log at the start of every workday.  The logs must be kept for at least three years or longer if local jurisdiction requires it.

The CDC highly recommends, “For accurate temperature monitoring, use a digital data logger (DDL) with a detachable probe that best reflects vaccine temperatures (e.g., probe buffered with glycol, glass beads, sand, or Teflon®). Check and record the temperature daily using a temperature log” using one of two methods…the minimum/maximum temperatures (recommended) or current temperature.

GuardHyve offers a NIST certified temperature monitoring solution that meets the CDC recommendations and is effective even in the extreme storage requirements of the Pfizer vaccine.

The GuardHyve solution utilizes a battery powered LoRa temperature monitor that can be placed in a buffer for the most accurate reading.

The monitors continuously transmit storage temperatures to a LoRa gateway placed onsite.  The gateway sends the data to the cloud using either LTE mobile data or an Ethernet Internet connect.  The gateway can use LTE as a primary transmission means and the Ethernet connection as a failover to ensure the temperature is always monitored.

The temperatures are logged into the cloud software where alerts will be generated (e-mail, SMS text, and on the software dashboard) if the temperature ever goes out of range.

The data is stored indefinitely, and reports can be generated in seconds.

The GuardHyve has several distinct advantages over manually logging:

  • Monitors temperatures 24 hours a day
  • Removes the need for staff to check and record temperatures
  • Eliminates stacks of paper logs that can be lost or destroyed
  • Ensures the safety and efficacy of the vaccine during storage

As we face the final stage of the greatest public health crisis of our lifetime, GuardHyve can help with the essential task of making sure that the environmental requirements of the vaccine storage are being met.

We encourage you to look at some of the CDC materials in our library or on the CDC website.

More information on the GuardHyve solution can be found on our website or by calling 786-910-6359.