Power Cuts Put Storage of Vaccines in Risk

iSocket helps with vaccine storage monitoring - power and temperatures
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Translated from the original Italian article.

During the night between Saturday and Sunday 8th of May power cut in the vaccination center of Albino, a municipality in the province of Bergamo, in the region of Lombardy in Italy, turned off a refrigerator containing about a thousand doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The system sent an SMS to the technicians in charge, who however noticed the signal with a certain delay. About five hours have passed between the switching off of the refrigerator due to the electrical fault and restoring it back to full function. The power failure occurred in an internal line and not due to a power failure of the entire building or area in which the site is located and therefore the auxiliary electricity generator was not usable.

The doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca can stay at room temperature for about six hours, therefore they have been quarantined to check if they are still effective by the pharmacy of the Asst Bergamo Est and of course the administration of these doses is now frozen, until the pharmaceutical companies will express themselves on the status of the vaccines and their viability. Incidents of this type should not happen, especially at a time like the one that the whole country is going through, where vaccination doses are scarce and there is great urgency in administering the latter to those who need them most as they are at risk either due to the old age or for serious medical conditions. It should be added that inside the refrigerator there were also vaccines from the Moderna manufacturer, which can stay at room temperature for up to 12 hours. In order to prevent the episode from happening again, the refrigerator containing the vaccine doses was equipped with an uninterruptible power supply.

The requirements of distribution and storage chains usually require that a vaccine to be stored in a refrigerator qualified for vaccination conservation between + 2 ° C and + 8 ° C, but there are reports that claim that the Pfizer vaccine would require to be stored  in an ultra-cold freezer with a temperature of -70 ° C and the Moderna vaccine would require storage in a freezer with a temperature of -20 ° C. However, the latest analysis of the situation on vaccine supply and storage shows that there are still not enough vaccines in Europe to stop the third wave with vaccination alone, even though EU vaccine order deliveries are now reliable, it will take several weeks before risk groups are fully vaccinated.

How to avoid?

Freezers and refrigerators used for storing vaccines should not remain without power should an electric failure occur, it would be good to have an alarm system in place to notify, thanks to a sensor that perceives drops or increases in the temperature of the refrigerator used for storage of the vaccines, the technicians in charge.

Such disasters can be easily avoided by using a product like iSocket, which can control the temperatures inside your vaccine container or any refrigerator or freezer. iSocket with a temperature sensor can verify the lowering or raising of the temperature of the refrigerator containing the vaccines as well as immediately alerting you about power cuts.

Vaccine storage temperature and power to a medical fridge control with iSocket

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