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Using a datalogger to ensure your vaccine carry bag remains in cold chain

One of the key factors in vaccine transportation is ensuring that the contents of your vaccine carry bag remains in cold chain (usually between 2-8°C). The current Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is unusual in that in needs to be kept extremely cold at minus 70°C, but there are many other vaccines including the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine which require standard cold chain temperatures of between 2-8°C.

A quality vaccine insulation bag is crucial in helping to maintain a specific temperature range for as long as possible. Ideally without the requirement of heavy polystyrene so that it can be handled easily and folded away when not in use, taking up less storage space. Our CorrMed Porta Thermal Bags have been designed in the UK by distinguished medical bag designer, Brian Arnott. With infection control at the core of the design, the vaccine bags are easy to handle, durable and wipe clean.

As we can see from the current COVID-19 vaccine roll out, patients don’t always travel to a GP surgery or hospital to receive vaccines. Often these medications need to be taken from their main store in the pharmacy to the patient where they will be administered. This might be in a school, nursing home, at home or in a different ward or community hospital.

When the transporting device is never opened and the ambient temperature and coolant used is within known parameters, keeping the contents in cold chain is a relatively straight forward process. These devices are called ‘shippers’

However, when vaccines are being administered, the container holding the vaccines will need to be opened in order to access the medication. If the container has many doses within it, it may need continual opening. This is when it can become difficult to maintain the correct temperature.

CorrMed were keen to find a solution to help users monitor the temperature of the contents in the Portability Thermal bags. The solution was to include a simple to use battery powered USB temperature data logger. This device needed to have:

  • an external probe so the temperature inside the bag can be read, whilst the lid remained shut

  • be calibrated to ensure ongoing compliance

  • simulate & measure the core temperature of the vaccines as opposed to purely the air within the bag

By shear chance, we didn’t have to travel far to find our answer. Based in the same county of Gloucestershire, we found Signatrol, a company who specialises in the environmental measurement for both the pharmaceutical and food industry, to ensure appropriate temperature, humidity, and data recording.

The Tempmate-M1 USB data logger is battery-powered and easily programmable with an LCD display and a USB plug-in. It can be set to sample at regular intervals between 10 seconds and 24 hours and will store up to 32,000 readings on the device. Reporting is output via a PDF report containing both tabular and graphical logs of the data, or you can use the free Tempbase software to individually configure the loggers and carry out detailed data analysis and data management.

The Tempmate-M1 can be upgraded with an external sensor probe at a small additional cost.

For more information on the Tempmate-M1 USB data logger or our vaccine carry bags please visit the CorrMed website.


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