Protecting Flu Vaccines Using WarmMark® Time-Temperature Indicators

Flu vaccines are temperature sensitive biologics that require precise cold chain management to maintain efficacy. Explore how to enhance flu vaccine monitoring, regulatory compliance, distribution…

Flu vaccines are temperature sensitive biologics that require precise cold chain management to maintain efficacy. Explore how to enhance flu vaccine monitoring, regulatory compliance, distribution safety, and more.

Key takeaways:

  • Precise cold chain management is vital for flu vaccine viability and regulatory compliance.
  • Inadequate temperature control can reduce vaccine potency or quality, impact public health, and cause financial losses.
  • WarmMark indicators are the ultimate solution for maintaining flu vaccine integrity and enhancing distribution safety.

Influenza remains a major public health concern globally. Hundreds of millions of flu vaccines are supplied yearly to protect people’s health. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), manufacturers will ship as many as 170 million doses of the influenza vaccine across the US in the 2023/2024 season.

Ensuring the safety of flu vaccines during transportation is crucial, especially in maintaining the appropriate temperature as they move from distribution centers to healthcare facilities. 

Temperature excursions can occur even with careful consideration of the transportation and storage equipment, altering flu vaccines’ molecular composition, reducing their potency, and spoiling entire batches of medicine.

Because these biologics’ physical appearances don’t always change relative to excursions, accompanying them with a time-temperature indicator like WarmMark is essential for assurance that the cold chain has been maintained.

This guide offers critical insights into protecting flu vaccine integrity using WarmMark indicators. It also explores the importance of reliable temperature monitoring for compliance, patient safety, and cost efficiency. Let’s dive in.

How WarmMark® Aids Vaccine Temperature Monitoring

Flu vaccines must be stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions as they flow across the cold chain. If they fall outside the recommended temperature range for long, they lose their efficacy and should be discarded.

However, exposure to a brief temperature excursion may not immediately compromise the flu vaccine’s effectiveness. For example, a flu vaccine in a refrigerator that broke down and is still within the recommended temperature range can still maintain its quality if it’s quickly moved to a different refrigerator with the correct temperature.

In this context, accurately monitoring the duration and extent of temperature excursions during transit and storage is paramount to protect the flu vaccine cold chain and prevent wastage of otherwise usable biologics.

The WarmMark single-use, ascending time-temperature indicator sticker lets you know whether the optimal temperatures have been maintained in the cold chain and the extent of any excursions that may have occurred.

The WarmMark indicator turns from white to red in out-of-tolerance temperatures, providing reliable irreversible evidence of whether appropriate conditions were maintained throughout the flu vaccine cold chain

You can trust their results because WarmMark time-temperature indicators are accurate, irreversible, and tamper-resistant. Moreover, you can use them to pinpoint problematic areas in your cold chain and proactively protect current and future shipments.

Compliance With Health Regulations

Beyond following manufacturer product-specific recommendations, distributors and healthcare providers must also adhere to health organizations’ guidelines on how to store vaccines and when to discard them.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends proactive temperature control to protect flu vaccines during transportation and storage.

The CDC echoes similar sentiments in its Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit, a step-by-step guide that compiles insights from scientific studies, product information from vaccine manufacturers, and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations. 

One critical requirement laid out in the toolkit is keeping refrigerated biologics between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F) throughout their shelf life to ensure stability. 

The proper monitoring solution can help prove that you indeed kept flu vaccines within the required guidelines. WarmMark temperature indicators provide irrefutable evidence of proper flu vaccine handling and storage, with an accuracy of ± 1°C (± 2°F), making them the ideal companion for compliance with health regulations.

WarmMark case study insights

A lot can go wrong with hundreds of millions of influenza vaccine doses moving across the US yearly. Shipping delays, routing mistakes, weather changes, and refrigeration equipment failure (or poor placement and handling) can expose flu vaccines to unfavorable temperatures and complicate transportation and storage.

Worse still, it’s hard to tell when these biologics’ quality deteriorates as they move along the cold chain because temperature excursions don’t always alter (vaccines’) observable physical properties. With these challenges, organizations turn to SpotSee’s WarmMark® for greater visibility during shipping and storage.

One reason is that WarmMark time-temperature indicators are incredibly effective and reliable. They measure cumulative temperature excursions above a predetermined threshold (e.g., 8°C) and trigger only when excursions occur for a specific period (i.e., briefly, moderately, or prolonged).

Additionally, they are easy to install and use. Simply fold up and pull out the activation tab, remove the adhesive liner, stick the indicator near the flu vaccines, and you’re set. Once the temperature reaches your set threshold, the indicator will turn red.

With WarmMark indicators accompanying flu vaccines, all excursions are observed. The cold chain is maintained, and vaccine safety and efficacy are assured in health centers.

Enhance vaccine distribution safety with WarmMark®.

Effective temperature monitoring of flu vaccines isn’t just about maintaining the cold chain; it’s also about safeguarding public health. Vaccinations reduce the risk of contracting the influenza virus by up to 60% and significantly minimize the severity and spread of the flu. So, it’s essential to ensure vaccines stay effective until they are administered

Time-temperature indicators are essential for monitoring flu vaccines and improving distribution safety. Talk to our experts at SpotSee to learn how to create a safer, more reliable cold chain with WarmMark.