How often should I download the temperature log for a vaccine fridge?

This is a question we are asked quite often. The following answer is my personal opinion. You may have company policies or additional rules that will impact on what I say.

If you have a vaccine fridge (i.e. a purpose built vaccine fridge) then keep the following in mind:

  1. The vaccine fridge displays the temperature and staff should be trained to periodically check it. In theory this is not necessary but I like it because it reinforces the idea that temperature is very important to all the staff. This should then reduce other issues like leaving the door open too long or leaving stock out of the fridge.
  2. The vaccine fridge has a built in alarm that will warn you if there is a problem. The vaccine fridge itself is your best method of ensuring the vaccines are safe. Loggers are designed to confirm that the vaccine fridge is correctly controlling the temperature. So you have already significantly improved the monitoring of your stock with a vaccine fridge.
  3. If the fridge goes into alarm (especially for an unknown or extended period of time) then download the results immediately to find out what happened.
  4. If using a Logtag and you have the alarm limit set to 2° and it is flashing red, download the results immediately.
  5. Other wise…

…my opinion is probably once a month. This saves you time but gives you a complete idea as to what is going on. Ensure the sample rate is set to give you this coverage (15 minutes sample rate or slower for TCS, 5 minute sample rate for Logtag). These sample rates also allow you to be slightly late if you are sick or on holidays.

Many companies retrieve the results fortnightly. It gives peace of mind and that’s good. The other benefit is if anything does go wrong with the logging (e.g. we have a number of support calls where the logger was stopped and not restarted) then only a maximum of 2 weeks data is lost.

Some companies do it weekly. My personal opinion is that this is overkill because you have invested in a vaccine fridge and you can let it do its job.

Then you won’t be notified when something goes wrong. So my recommendations are:

  1. Buy a Logtag. You need either the alarm LED feature (in the entry level model) or the temperature display.
  2. Have your staff regularly check the Logtag to make sure the alarm LED is not on or the temperature is within range.
  3. Download the results weekly or fortnightly.

It’s a lot more work, and you need to assume that the fridge is likely to fail and you need to be watching for it.