Vaccines are one of the most important inventions for mankind. They have the power to eradicate diseases and keep people healthy, but they’re not indestructible. Proper vaccine handling and storage is essential for ensuring the vaccines stay good and can be used for their intended purpose. Healthcare workers everywhere have an obligation to follow the right guidelines and distribute vaccines appropriately.
Do your research
Education comes from the top, so you should do your research and talk to more experienced professionals for tips and more proper guidelines. Your staff needs to know and see you’re competent and can handle vaccine storage and distribution.
This builds trust among you and them, but also increases trust in your facility. Don’t be afraid to spend more money on training and equipment either, as it is an investment that will definitely pay off.
Get a temperature monitoring device
Since keeping the vaccines cold is the most important part, it’s good to have temperature monitoring devices on site. This can allow you and other staff to check the vaccine temperature to ensure everything is in order. It’s an especially important factor if you were dealing with improper equipment before or have a history of problems with vaccines.
As well as that, this kind of device allows you to verify whether the temperature of the vaccines is correct as soon as you get the shipment. If it’s not, you’ll know you need a new distributor.
Train the staff
Training your staff on how to handle vaccines is extremely important. While everyone working for you will have medical training, not everyone will have specific vaccine training or experience handling them. This is why every facility that gives out vaccines needs to have a dedicated training program.
It ensures every staff member can adequately handle this part of their job and lowers the possibility of any mistakes. On top of that, it makes staff more comfortable and confident distributing vaccines to patients. Furthermore, it makes patients more comfortable when they can see they’re obviously in capable hands.
Have a vaccine coordinator
Every facility should have someone in charge specifically for vaccines. We all know that things in healthcare centers can quickly get out of hand, so it’s not enough for just a random person to handle the vaccines when the need arises.
A dedicated vaccine coordinator will be able to accurately and consistently handle orders, storage, temperature regulation, and staff training. This should be their main job so they can do it without distractions or potential to make mistakes. Of course, a little help is always welcome, but all the organization should fall onto the vaccine coordinator.
Opt for quality refrigerators
Fridges are the main means of storage for vaccines. A good vaccine fridge can be the difference between whether a vaccine can be used after storage or not. This kind of fridge has a microprocessor-based temperature control and a temperature sensor.
Air circulation is present through fans, and there are multiple vents that ensure the air stays cool and fresh. They also make fast temperature recovery and maintenance easy. Therefore, it’s always best to opt for quality fridges that meet these requirements so you don’t have to worry about the vaccines being rendered useless.
Schedule delivery reception
If you know you need more vaccines, it’s important to schedule the delivery. This way, you won’t be caught off guard and will be able to adequately prepare for the new shipment. Vaccines need to be kept cold at all times, so as soon as the delivery is made, they have to be properly stored.
On the same note, it’s important to do business with a distributor who knows the importance of keeping the cool chain. When it comes to staff, the person in charge needs to know everyone’s schedule and arrange for a staff member on duty to receive the shipment immediately.
As you can see, the guidelines for proper vaccine storage and handling are pretty straightforward and simple. Ensuring the quality of vaccines should be highest on the priority list of any healthcare worker that deals with them. This article is a great reminder of that and a great reminder of what exactly you need to do to ensure everything is in order.