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Covid-19 Vaccine Fridge Monitoring: The Importance Of Choosing The Right System

The low temperature storage requirements of the Pfizer Covid19 vaccine have brought the issues of vaccine fridge and temperature monitoring into the public eye. The temperatures needed for this particular vaccine, at -70°C, are unusually low, but it’s not uncommon for vaccines to require storage at -15°C or lower, and the general temperature range for many medications and vaccines is 2°C to 8°C. These all require specialised freezer or refrigerated storage, and deviation from the required storage temperatures can result in the vaccines being disposed of. A notorious incident from December 2020 (which made it into the pages of the Daily Mail, no less), involved the spoilage of nearly 1,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine at a vaccination centre in Northamptonshire, due to a mechanical fault in a storage unit.

How To Monitor Vaccine Fridge Temperatures

Unfortunately, temperature fluctuations and mechanical faults are not an uncommon occurrence in refrigeration applications, making a vaccine fridge monitoring system essential for temperature sensitive product applications. The usual practice is for busy hospital and medical staff to manually record the temperatures of fridges, freezers, ambient storage and cold storage rooms at least once or twice a day – to ensure the temperature range is maintained. The temperature (and sometimes humidity) data are then collated, analysed and stored for audit requirements.

The problem with this manual system is, a) it is extremely labour-intensive, b) it is open to error and even fraud, and c) it means that temperature deviations may not be discovered until long after the event has taken place – which results in expensive drugs and vaccines being destroyed. The financial losses accruing from spoilt medications are significant and, in the case of the Covid19 vaccination programme, every dose counts in the struggle against the virus.

The Cadmus Wi-Fi Data Logging System

The solution is to implement a cost effective temperature wi-fi data logging system for fridge, freezer & vaccine temperature monitoring, such as our Cadmus system. Cadmus is low-cost, high security, and Wi-Fi-enabled and has been specifically designed to meet the monitoring requirements of NHS Trusts, hospitals, primary care, GP surgeries and vaccination centres.

The system records temperature or temperature with humidity data in real-time and sends it to the cloud over a secure Wi-Fi network, from a small, compact battery powered device that can be discreetly and quickly retrofitted into any fridge, freezer or storage facility. Battery powered for over 12 months, the installation takes less than 30 minutes and requires no external power source. Cadmus can be programmed to accurately monitor and record any temperature range, within tolerances of ±0.2°C meeting EN12830: 2018 Class 0.2 and meeting the requirements of “The Green Book (2020)*” Chapter 3: Storage Distribution and Disposal of Vaccines”.

Any deviations from the specified ranges are immediately flagged by an alarm email alert, enabling swift action and preventing medications being spoiled. Each device can measure two separate external temperature measurements and one internal temperature and humidity measurement, e.g.  up to two fridges or freezers, or a combination of both and the room ambient temperature and humidity with one single Cadmus device. .

Cadmus System Features

Up to four channels measuring temperature (3) & humidity (1)

Two further inputs can be used to count door openings or alert a power failure.

Up to four alarms are available per channel. These alarms/alerts can be emailed to as many people as required, as well as having a local visual and audible bleeper alarm.

Automated daily, weekly and monthly reports can be generated and issued automatically. Customised reports can also be generated on demand for any audit requirements.

All data is stored on our high security Ratifi-Cloud server.

Cadmus can be WPA2-Enterprise enabled as an option at no additional cost, which is considered the gold standard for wireless network security, delivering over-the-air encryption and ensuring the highest levels of security.

Maintenance And Calibration Requirements

The only maintenance required by the Cadmus device is the simple replacement of the two AA 3.6-volt lithium batteries. The device will inform you in advance when your batteries are running low, giving you plenty of time to prepare and order the low-cost replacements. If you require re-calibration, you can program the Cadmus to remind you in advance, allowing you to proactively plan your maintenance schedule to minimise service costs.

Flexible Monitoring Solutions For The NHS

Cadmus was designed in partnership with the NHS & the primary care sector, to provide a flexible and affordable vaccine fridge & temperature monitoring data logging solution. In many NHS Trust areas, the number of pharmacy vaccine fridges, freezers and storage facilities range from a single unit to several hundred, and these can be located across multiple sites, vaccination centres and storage hubs over a wide geographical area.

In the past, temperature monitoring systems would have required significant capital investment, due to the vast amounts of cabling and the additional infrastructure required to power the vast number of devices needed and then to frequently gather and collate (a minimum of every 5 minutes), the valuable temperature data. Such an extensive infrastructure project would be expensive, time consuming and hugely disruptive in any hospital environment, and is completely impractical during an emergency vaccination programme.

Cadmus, being a battery powered wireless data logger that uses cloud hosting to store and transmit data, has proven to be simple to install, reliable, robust, secure, and accurate – and is scalable to the needs of each NHS Trust or primary care organisation. Implementation can start with a single unit and can be increased to several thousand units located on multiple sites without the requirement to commit to any long-term contracts or licencing agreements. Furthermore, the Cadmus solution requires no specialised equipment, software, or specially trained engineers to install them.

Find Out More

Our Cadmus system provides a traceable, inviolate, robust and reliable solution to the problem of vaccine fridge and temperature monitoring, saving time and money, and keeping sensitive products in perfect condition, thus ensuring patient safety. To find out more or to request a quote, please get in touch with one of our technical engineering team today.

The Green Book has the latest information on vaccines and vaccination procedures, for vaccine preventable infectious diseases in the UK. It is issued and updated by HM government. Chapter 3 deals with Storage Distribution and Disposal of Vaccines” and is the ‘Bible’ to which all healthcare providers should comply.

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