Staff And Training Personnel
2.2.1 All Staff
Ensure that all staff members have received appropriate training so that they understand the protocols for routine and urgent vaccine storage and handling and their responsibility in maintaining the cold chain. Also ensure that maintenance staff, janitorial staff, and security staff members are aware of the plan and know the procedures for notifying designated personnel about any problems with vaccine storage equipment. The plans and procedures should be clear and easily accessible to all staff.
2.2.2 Designated Vaccine Coordinators
Each site should designate one staff member to be the primary vaccine coordinator and another staff member as a backup in case the primary coordinator is unavailable . The designated vaccine coordinators should be fully trained in routine and urgent vaccine storage and handling protocols, and in procedures for managing cold chain breaks. They will be responsible for ensuring that all vaccines and diluents are handled correctly, that procedures are documented, and that all personnel receive appropriate cold chain training.
Duties of the Designated Vaccine Coordinators and Delegates
2.2.3 Other Staff
All staff members , immunization coordinator, public health nurses, physicians, pharmacists, physician office staff, administration staff, janitors, security staff) should be familiar with the sites policies and procedures for vaccine storage and handling .
2.2.4 Training Personnel
Vaccine Accidentally Left Out Of The Refrigerator 5 Steps To Take
Americans faced deadly health challenges from preventable diseases before the mid-20th Century. In the past, thousands died from communicable illnesses such as polio, rubella, measles, and whooping cough. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that rubella infected more than 12.5 million adults and killed 2,000 babies during the 1964-65 outbreak in the United States.
Things changed once doctors began using vaccines. Disease rates plummeted, and dangerous diseases that caused disabilities and deaths were nearly wiped out of the nation. Since 2012, only 15 cases of rubella were reported to the CDC in the United States.
Vaccines can provide beneficial protection to individuals and protect immunocompromised people who cannot receive vaccines. Although they can save lives, they are only effective if healthcare providers manage, store, and administer them correctly. Additionally, they should also be stored in the right temperatures to maintain their potency. Unfortunately, these doses can easily degrade when exposed to out-of-range conditions.
If a healthcare provider accidentally leaves a vaccine on a countertop, it can ruin its effectiveness. What procedures should your medical facility have if a staff member forgot to put a vaccine back into your medical refrigerator? In today’s American Biotech Supply article, you’ll learn what steps to take to address a temperature excursion event.
Reaction At The Injection Site
The most common side effect of the flu shot is a reaction at the injection site, which is typically on the upper arm. After the shot is given, you may have soreness, redness, warmth, and in some cases, slight swelling. These effects usually last less than two days.
To help reduce discomfort, try taking some ibuprofen before getting your shot.
Read Also: Does Urgent Care Test For The Flu
How Can I Ensure Proper Flu And Covid
Even if your practice carefully monitors flu vaccine refrigeration and COVID-19 vaccines, temperature excursions can still occur and damage your vaccine inventory. Only a compliant storage system can remove the costly risks of human error and ineffective equipment. With guaranteed temperature control and constant remote monitoring, the AccuVax Vaccine Management System will keep your flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines at the ideal temperature, without any manual organization or tiresome data-logging.
Unlike dangerous dormitory-style units and unreliable combination units, AccuVax can safely store both refrigerated and frozen vaccines in one unit. The purpose-built, pharmacy-grade system automatically separates vaccines, so you dont need to worry about storing them incorrectly and letting them go to waste. Whats more, the door-less technology and built-in battery backup eliminate the main causes of temperature excursions and guarantees the protection of all vaccines stored in the AccuVax.
AccuVax workflows are designed to simplify all areas of vaccine storage & management, allowing staff and the entire practice to focus on higher-value care. Prevent staff, clinicians, and doctors from time-consuming vaccine management tasks with the AccuVax solution:
Does A Flu Vaccine Increase Your Risk Of Getting Covid
There is no evidence that getting a flu vaccine increases your risk of getting sick from a coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19.
You may have heard about a study published in January 2020 that reported an association between flu vaccination and the risk of four commonly circulating seasonal coronaviruses, but not the one that causes COVID-19. This report was later found to be incorrect.
The results from that initial study led researchers in Canada to look at their data to see if they could find similar results in their population. The results from Canadas study showed that flu vaccination did not increase the risk for these seasonal coronaviruses. The Canadian findings highlighted the protective benefits of flu vaccination.
The Canadian researchers also identified a flaw in the methods of the first study, noting that it violated the part of the study design that compares vaccination rates among patients with and without flu . This flaw led to the incorrect association between flu vaccination and seasonal coronavirus risk. When these researchers reexamined data from the first study using the correct methods, they found that flu vaccination did not increase the risk for infection with other respiratory viruses, including seasonal coronaviruses.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat A Toddler With The Flu
Cold Chain Break Management
If vaccines are exposed to temperatures outside the recommended range or other inappropriate storage conditions, immediate action should be taken in order to avoid product loss. It should not be assumed that vaccine inappropriately exposed to light or to temperatures outside the recommended range cannot be salvaged.
Who Should Get The Flu Shot Who Shouldnt
People over 6 months of age should receive the flu shot each year.
Its particularly important for people who are at an increased risk for flu-related complications to be vaccinated.
- anyone living or working in a nursing home or chronic care facility
- caregivers of any of the above
Children under 6 months of age shouldnt receive the influenza vaccine. To protect these children from potential exposure to the virus, all family members or caregivers should be vaccinated.
This is called herd immunity and will help protect those who cant receive the vaccine.
Additionally, if youre currently sick with an acute illness, you may need to wait until youre better to receive the vaccine.
Before youre vaccinated, you should let your doctor know if youve had:
- a prior allergic reaction to the flu vaccine
- complications from vaccines
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
These factors may indicate that you should not get the flu shot. But check with your doctor to see what they recommend.
Many flu shots contain a small amount of egg protein. If you have a history of egg allergies, talk with your doctor about receiving the flu shot.
Read Also: Medicine For Flu With High Blood Pressure
Mishaps In Vaccine Storage Or Handling
- Do not assume the vaccine cannot be salvaged.
- Record the temperature inside the refrigerator at the time the problem is discovered. Mark the affected vaccine vials or packages
- Transfer the vaccine to a working refrigerator as quickly as possible.
- Record the length of time the vaccine may have been exposed to non-optimal temperatures.
- Contact the vaccine manufacturer listed on the vaccine vial for further instructions and to determine if the vaccine can still be used.
South Dakota Department of Health 605-773-3737 or 1-800-738-2301
How Is Flu Treated In Babies And Children
Your babys provider may prescribe an antiviral medicine to prevent or treat the flu. An antiviral is a medicine that kills infections caused by viruses. Antivirals can make your babys flu milder and help your baby feel better faster. Antivirals also can help prevent serious flu complications, like a lung infection called pneumonia. For flu, antivirals work best if used within 2 days of having signs or symptoms.
If your baby is at high risk for flu, his provider may prescribe an antiviral as soon as he begins to have flu symptoms. All children younger than 5 are at high risk for flu, especially children younger than 2. Children who were born prematurely or who have chronic health conditions, like asthma or sickle cell disease, also are at high risk.
Three medicines are approved in the United States for preventing or treating the flu in children:
If your child has the flu, help him get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. He may not want to eat much. Try giving him small meals to help his body get better.
Recommended Reading: What Is High Dose Flu Vaccine
What Protection Does A Flu Vaccine Provide If I Do Get Sick With The Flu
Some people who get vaccinated may still get sick. However, flu vaccination has been shown in some studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick. A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized adults with flu. Another study in 2018 showed that a vaccinated adult who was hospitalized with the flu was 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than someone who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.
How Often Should We Log Refrigerator Temperatures When Storing The Flu Vaccine
When storing any vaccine, you should log the minimum and maximum refrigerator temperatures at the beginning and end of each day. If the unit does not display the minimum and maximum temperatures, log the current temperature at the beginning and end of each day.
You can also measure the temperature of the room where the refrigerator is kept. In the event of a temperature excursion or refrigerator failure, you will have a better idea of the temperature your vaccines have been exposed to, which can help with the troubleshooting process. Do not use the calibrated temperature monitor from the refrigerator to measure the room temperature, but rather a standard household thermometer.
You May Like: Side Effects Of Alka Seltzer Plus Cold And Flu
Complete Your Documentation Of The Event
You’ll need to complete a report about the excursion event. Information should include what actions you took. Outline what you did with the vaccine and how long it took to take action. Additionally, you should write down details about whom you contacted and the instructions you received from them. Next, discuss what steps you’ll follow in the future to prevent another excursion event. Finally, write a disposition about the affected vaccines .
After you determine what occurred, update your SOP. You should obtain additional CDC-based training for your staff to prevent future mishaps. Following these steps can prevent ensure your patients receive effective vaccines.
Are you searching for a medical refrigerator to protect your vaccine supply? Contact American Biotech Supply today for more information.
If We Remove The Vegetable Bins Can We Use This Area For Flu Vaccine Refrigeration
No. This part of a household refrigerator is designed to keep a different temperature to the rest of the unit. Since this part of the refrigerator is usually closest to the motor, it provides an ideal environment for vegetables but certainly not for flu vaccines.
If you wish to put this part of the refrigerator to better use, swap out the vegetable bins for bottles of water. This can help maintain the temperatures within the unit. Be sure to label these bottles so they are not inadvertently consumed.
Also Check: Flu Shots For Pregnant Mothers
Can Biological Products Be Stored In The Same Refrigerator With Flu Vaccines
No. The frequent opening and closing of the refrigerator door as you access other items can cause serious temperature excursions. This risks flu vaccine efficacy. Your refrigerator unit should not be overused for this reason. Store biological products in a separate refrigerator, to ensure the safety of your vaccine supply.
We Will Refrigerate The Flu Vaccine But We Want To Use The Freezer For Storing Other Vaccines Such As The New Covid
Combination units are not recommended for storing vaccines as they do not ensure even temperatures in both compartments. Do not store vaccines in both the refrigerator and freezer compartments.
The CDC recommends that you only store vaccines in the refrigerator compartment of a combination unit, but do not turn off the freezer compartment as this may also affect the refrigerator temperature. Many combination units use the cold air from the freezer to cool the refrigerator. If you also need to store frozen vaccines, these should be kept in a separate vaccine freezer unit. Before choosing another unit, be clear on the exact temperature requirements of other vaccines, especially in the case of COVID-19 products.
COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to require different temperature ranges depending on the product. These temperatures vary from refrigerated through frozen to ultra-cold . As with most vaccines, COVID-19 vaccine storage temperature is essential for vaccine efficacy. Do not store COVID-19 vaccines in a combination unit with other vaccines and make sure any other storage unit meets the correct temperature requirements for the product. You need reliable vaccine cold storage with accurate temperature monitoring and a team of staff that has been trained to store and handle this new vaccine.
Also Check: Is There A Flu Vaccine Without Gelatin
Stability Of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine In Polypropylene Syringes Under Various Storage Conditions
Influenza immunization is an effective strategy to reduce morbidity in health care providers and hospitalized patients.1 When the vaccine is not provided in prefilled glass syringes, pharmacies prepare doses in polypropylene syringes, from multidose vials, to facilitate administration during vaccination campaigns. The Canadian Immunization Guide recommends delaying the process of loading syringes until it is time to vaccinate the patient, because of the lack of data about vaccine stability in syringes.2 Data relating to room temperature storage are limited, and nonrefrigerated storage could result in reduced vaccine efficacy or adverse effects.2,3 However, refrigerators may not be consistently available during vaccination campaigns. Previous reports suggested that an influenza vaccine in its original prefilled glass syringe packaging can be stored for a period from 72 h to 14 days at room temperature without any effect on product quality.3,4 We sought to determine whether the influenza vaccine is stable in polypropylene syringes with refrigeration and at room temperature.
How Does The Flu Spread
The flu spreads easily from person to person. When someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or speaks, the virus spreads through the air. Your baby can get infected with the flu if she breathes the virus in or if she touches something that has the flu virus on it and then touches her nose, eyes or mouth.
People with the flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before they get sick up to 5 to 7 days after. People who are very sick with the flu or young children may be able to spread the flu longer, especially if they still have symptoms.
Also Check: Should I Get A Flu Shot Before Traveling
Preparing Vaccine For Administration
Vaccine preparation is the final step in the cold chain before administration. Handling vaccines with care is equally as important as storing them properly.
- Vaccines should be prepared in a designated area away from any space where potentially contaminated items are placed.
- Only prepare vaccines when you are ready to administer them. Always check expiration dates and confirm that you have selected the correct vaccine.
- Only administer vaccines you have prepared. This is a quality control and patient safety issue and a best practice standard of medication administration. If vaccine is drawn up by one person but administered by another, the person administering the vaccine cannot be sure what is in the syringe and whether it is safe.
A single-dose vial contains ONE dose and should be used ONE time for ONE patient.
- Do not combine leftover vaccine from one SDV with another to obtain a dose.
- Do not open an SDV until ready to use. Before you remove the protective cap, always check the vial to make sure you have the correct vaccine. Once you remove the cap, you must use the vaccine because it may not be possible to determine if the rubber seal has been punctured.
- Discard any unused SDVs without a protective cap at the end of the workday.
Why Must These Vaccines Be Stored At Different Temperatures
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are messenger RNA vaccines, meaning that they are made using fragments of viral genetic material.
Essentially, Atwell says, the two vaccines are lipid nanoparticles that encapsulate the messenger RNA inside and have a stabilizing effect. She attributes the big temperature variation in their storage temperature requirements to the sort of lipid nanoparticles that encapsulates the mRNA.
Simply put, the vaccines must be kept so cold to prevent them from breaking down. If they do, they become useless.
Even scientists would like to know why there is such a disparity between the Pfizer and Moderna storage requirements. But they know the answers lie in the scientific formulations for the vaccines. And drug companies are known to guard these “recipes” zealously.
So in other words, scientists may never know for certain.
“It just comes down to what their data is,” vaccine researcher Margaret Liu tells NPR. “If their data shows that it’s more stable at a certain temperature, that’s it.”
While drugmakers are certain to keep their secrets “close to the vest,” it’s always possible that some researcher, somewhere, will unlock the mysteryand maybe remove one of the impediments of getting “shots in arms” across the country and across the globe.
Recommended Reading: Alka Seltzer Plus Cold And Flu Night While Breastfeeding