Vaccine refrigeration: thinking outside of the box

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2014;10(4):1126-8. doi: 10.4161/hv.27660. Epub 2014 Jan 17.


This commentary reviews recent changes in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vaccine storage guidelines that were developed in response to an investigative report by the Office of the Inspector General. The use of temperature data loggers with probes residing in glycol vials is advised along with storing vaccines in pharmaceutical refrigerators. These refrigerators provide good thermal distribution but can warm to 8 °C in less than one hour after the power is discontinued. Consequently, electric grid instability influences appropriate refrigerator selection and the need for power back-up. System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) values quantify this instability and can be used to formulate region-specific guidelines. A novel aftermarket refrigerator with a battery back-up power supply and microprocessor control system is also described.

Keywords: CDC; cold chain; policy; power grid; vaccine refrigeration.

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Drug Storage / methods*
  • Drug Storage / standards*
  • Humans
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Refrigeration / instrumentation
  • Refrigeration / methods*
  • Temperature
  • United States
  • Vaccines / immunology*
  • Vaccines / radiation effects*


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Vaccines