Data logging your vaccine fridges – Bar Fridges are not suitable for vaccine storage!

NSW Health now require all practices to monitor their vaccine fridges with data loggers and download the data weekly, however data does not need to be supplied to NSW Health unless requested. This is in addition to twice daily min/max manual temperature checks of your vaccine fridge.

Temperature data loggers are small electronic devices that continually measure temperatures at pre-set intervals. Easily programmed by your staff via a computer, loggers are placed in the vaccine refrigerator near the temperature probe or vaccines. The logger operates independently on its own battery and is downloaded weekly via a USB to a computer. The results are displayed in a graph and numerical format and allow cold chain breaches to be assessed far more accurately, therefore reducing the chance of vaccine wastage or revaccination.

For an example of a weekly data log report CLICK HERE.

Some of the more commonly used data loggers are listed below:

For data logger types CLICK HERE.

Key points about data loggers for vaccine fridges:

  • Data loggers continually monitor the temperature of the fridge and operate by battery, independently to the fridge power source so that temperatures are still being monitored, regardless of whether the fridge is operating;
  • They can be either internal, as part of the vaccine refrigerator or a separate device;
  • For separate data loggers, ensure these are placed close to vaccine stock, to replicate vaccine temperatures as accurately as possible – do not place them against fridge walls or directly on fridge shelves;
  • It is recommended that data loggers have their temperature recordings set to every 5 minutes and their alert set to outside +2 and +8 degree range;
  • Data logs should be downloaded and reviewed weekly by the person responsible for cold chain, to ensure fridge temperatures have remained within range at all times;
  • If there is a temperature excursion greater than 12 degrees and for longer than 15 minutes, contact the PHU on 1300 066 055 for advice;
  • Twice daily min/max manual readings still need to be done during opening hours, this requirement is not substituted by a data logger;
  • Always remember to reset fridge temperatures after the min/max readings are taken and after fridge temperatures have gone up, for e.g. when restocking;
  • Data logger batteries should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

For more information about data loggers and the points to consider when purchasing them, refer to Section 6 of the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines: Strive for 5

The above information was provided by: Sally Edwards, Immunisation Coordinator Northern Sydney Public Health Unit.

For further information or advice contact the PHU on 1300 066 055.