How to Know if COVID-19 Vaccines Have Been Heat Damaged | Zebra Blog

Ask the Experts: How Can We Be Sure Temperature-Sensitive COVID-19 Vaccines Have Not Been Heat Damaged All the Way Through the Last Mile?

As our panel of experts explain, there is a lot that can be learned – and applied – from other temperature-sensitive vaccination efforts throughout history.

A Temptime heat indicator can be seen on two vaccine vials,
by Your Edge Blog Team
December 11, 2020

There may be new logistical challenges to overcome as we prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, but factoring for the extreme temperature sensitivity of vaccines is not a novel issue. Every vaccine distributed over the past several decades has had some level of temperature sensitivity, and there are tried-and-true ways to monitor the temperature of each dose from the first mile through the last.

As our panel of experts explain in the latest episode of the Your Edge podcast, vaccine manufacturers have been applying small temperature indicators on vials for the past 25 years to help those distributing, administering and receiving vaccines in remote villages and other “off-grid” locations know if a compromising heat event occurred at any point in time. In many parts of the world, both governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) actually mandate vial-level vaccine temperature monitoring. They want to ensure that each dose is confirmed viable before it’s injected in someone’s arm.

So, even though many headlines are emphasizing the ultra-frozen, frozen and even refrigerated COVID-19 vaccine formulations may present, our experts say people should rest easy knowing that the technology needed to monitor for – and confirm – potentially damaging temperature excursions during transit, storage or handling does exist today.

Therefore, the real challenge is convincing those purchasing the vaccine to require the use of vial-level temperature indicators, as our panel of experts explain.

Listen to this 30-minute roundtable discussion now to learn:

  • The real reason why the cold chain temperature for vaccines is a concern right now in developed countries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • How a vaccine cold chain monitor works.
  • How manufacturers, distributors, government leaders, NGOs and the healthcare community can apply best practices and technologies from other vaccine distributions to the COVID-19 distribution effort to reduce the logistical burden and build public confidence in the process and outcomes.
  • The difference between electronic temperature data loggers and vial-level temperature monitoring labels – and why the latter is particularly critical to preserving valuable resources and protecting patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • What motivated scientists (such as panelist Dr. Ted Prusik) to first develop miniaturized technology to monitor temperature exposure of vaccine vials over 30 years ago.

Ask the Experts: How Can We Be Sure That Each COVID-19 Vaccine Dose We Give (or Receive) Stayed Within Its Required Temperature Range During Shipping and Storage?

Meet our panel of experts:

  • Tony Cecchin, President of Temptime and Vice President and General Manager of Zebra’s Global Supplies organization
  • Chris Caulfield, Vice President of Temptime Operations
  • Dr. Ted Prusik, a co-founder of Temptime and currently the Vice President of Innovation
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Your Edge Blog Team
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