The UK’s country-wide vaccination programme is ongoing in order to protect the nation from contracting and suffering from the consequences of COVID-19. Now the Delta variant has been identified, it’s become a race against time simply because this mutation of the virus is known to spread faster. As the government stocks up on the vaccines that have been approved for use in the UK, there is an even greater need for proper storage facilities that can track and maintain stocks in their ideal condition using equipment such as data loggers for temperature to monitor the environment in which they’re held. The use of accurate temperature data loggers can help preserve the quality of doses until they are ready for use.
From the beginning of 2021 to early spring, the government targeted nine top-priority groups for vaccination. From January to Mid-February, vaccinations were carried out on care home residents and workers, people aged 80+ and frontline health and social workers; people aged 75 to 79; and then people aged 70 to 74 and anyone else who was considered clinically vulnerable.
In the second wave of vaccinations, which started at the end of February, the priority moved to people aged 65 to 69, followed by individuals with underlying health conditions aged between 16 and 64. Efforts were then concentrated on others aged 60 to 64, individuals aged 55 to 59, and people in the 50 to 54 age range.
As the programme continued to gain momentum, a number of problems needing to be addressed were flagged up. Most critical of these were the requirement for more and better storage for the vaccines; the requirement for temperature data loggers to ensure that the vaccine was being kept at the right temperatures; finding more people to join the vaccination teams; and opening new vaccination centres to accommodate more people.
The first round of vaccinations was with Pfizer-BioNTech’s product. Once vaccines from AstraZeneca and Moderna were approved for use, there was a huge ramping up in vaccine operations.
So far, over 48 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Over 90 per cent of people 16 years old and above have now had at least one jab, and now the country is now setting its sights on the twin goals of an autumn booster campaign and the vaccination of children below 16 years of age.
However, the government has needed to find ways to improve storage and preserve the integrity of the vaccines being stored for use. This has been one of the largest logistical operations ever to take place in the country, with millions of doses of the vaccine being transported country-wide and stored in critical areas. It’s crucial to ensure that vials are stored at the right temperatures, as any mistake can cause significant delays to the life-saving programme and result in wasted resources.
All three vaccines are administered in two doses, but the AstraZeneca vaccine is a viral vector, while the two others are RNA vaccines. Storage temperatures for each of the three types vary, however, which means strict temperature monitoring is required. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at regular fridge temperatures, while the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has to be kept at -70°C. The Moderna vaccine, on the other hand, should be stored at -20°C. Data loggers for temperature monitoring are key to detecting any potential risks of deterioration in the as-yet unused stocks.
Reliable temperature data loggers
Maintaining the right temperatures can be important where goods are stored generally and is especially critical for a product as sensitive as vaccines. To do this, you need the right equipment. Smashtag Ltd manufactures reliable temperature data loggers that can help track possible variations in temperature efficiently and with a high degree of accuracy. Because our data loggers are portable, they can be used both in storage facilities and while transporting the goods.
As well as monitoring temperatures for vaccines, drugs, and other pharmaceutical products, our temperature loggers can also be used in a host of other industries. For instance, this impressive piece of kit can be highly beneficial when monitoring storage temperature conditions for fresh produce, refined foodstuffs, and frozen foods, for instance.
For top-quality temperature data loggers, call Smashtag at 01223 881881 or send us a message through our Contact Us page for more details.