Extreme weather and vaccine storage

10 February 2017

With extreme heat predicted over the coming few days, the AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and Ausgrid have issued warnings of potential shortfall of capacity and some supplies may be interrupted.

We have provided some suggestions below to assist if you do lose power or considerations to assist in keeping your vaccine fridge within range (2ºC to 8ºC).

  • Please ensure you have sufficient eskies and icepacks available to store all vaccines if you do lose power.  Information about how to pack an esky is available in the Strive for Five, National Vaccine Storage Guidelines
  • Please ensure your data logger is operating and is set to record temperatures every 5 minutes.
  • If you have a glass fronted door, you may consider placing a blanket over the glass door to minimise the effect of the ambient temperature.
  • If there is a power loss and the temperature of the vaccine fridge rises above 8ºC, move vaccines to eskies and monitor the temperature of the eskies hourly using a min/max thermometer. Alternatively cover the glass door with insulating material (cardboard, bubble wrap or a blanket) and place ice bricks in empty spaces, taking care not to place them alongside the vaccine, and keep the door closed.
  • Please ensure that the temperatures of the fridge are recorded twice daily and if the readings are outside the range (2ºC to 8ºC), please isolate vaccines, download your logger report review and contact the Public Health Unit for further advice.
  • Ensure the vaccine fridge temperatures are checked when the practice first reopens.  Please review the data logger if fridge temperatures are above 8ºC.

Further support

  • CESPHN – 9330 9900 (Kogarah Office) or 9799 0933 (Ashfield Office)
  • Public Health Unit: 1300 066 055