Is Your Practice Ready for Vaccine Season?

As the summer turns into autumn, healthcare practitioners are now getting ready for vaccine season, and taking steps to make sure they are prepared.  

Especially as we get set to enter into October, healthcare practitioners are getting ready to administer patients yearly flu vaccines in this time. 

Vaccine Season

In the UK, vaccines are administered at GP surgeries, local pharmacies and community pharmacies to the following people:

• Adults aged 65 and over
• Pregnant women
• Children aged 2-3
• Children in primary school
• Frontline medical and health workers

Especially during busy spells at certain periods of the year, medical practices can come under immense pressure due to a rise in demand for vaccines. 

To ensure the smooth administration of flu vaccines, and to help healthcare practitioners handle this demand, it is important that their vaccines are used and stored properly, to help make the process more streamlined. 

Below, we will take you through how to prepare for this busy season in your healthcare practice to help you provide the best service quality for your patients. 

Maintain Vaccine Stock Levels

In preparation for the busy vaccine season, it is essential that healthcare practitioners ensure the correct amount of required vaccine stock is with them well ahead of time.

To make sure you order the correct volume of stock, look back on previous years as a gauge for the volume of vaccines you require. 

Also, pre-order these as far in advance as possible to ensure suppliers can cater to the volume of stock that you need.  However, when ordering vaccine stock in advance, be mindful of vaccine expiry dates, and ensure that you can use all of your stock before these dates.

During vaccine season, a dedicated member of the team will be able to help avoid this problem. They should be responsible for monitoring stock levels at least once a week, and re-ordering vaccines based on what is required for the coming week, and vaccine expiration dates to ensure vaccines nearing this date are used first.

Storing Vaccines Safely

To prevent vaccines from becoming damaged and spoiled, they must be stored correctly. 

Vaccines should be kept in a dedicated medical fridge at all times and should additionally always be stored in cold-chain conditions. The cold-chain refers to the temperature range vaccines must be kept in to remain effective and unspoiled. This temperature range is between +2oC and +8oC. 

Unfortunately, if this temperature range is compromised and vaccines become damaged, they can no longer be used as they can pose a risk to patients. If this occurs, it can become a costly process to replace this waste for healthcare practitioners. 

Due to their accurate temperature monitoring, unlike household fridges, medical fridges are the only piece of equipment to store vaccines, so they are essential in any healthcare practice. 



When stored in the medical fridge, vaccines should be stocked 1cm apart, with no vaccines touching the back or sides of the medical fridge. Not storing vaccines in this correct way can lead to freezing, or some stock falling out of the cold-chain, making them unusable on patients. 

To stop this from happening, assign a member of staff to monitor vaccine temperatures at least once a day. They should record min/max/current temperatures in a log and sign their name against it. Thermometers and data loggers should also be reset after recording temperatures, so they can constantly provide an accurate temperature reading. 

This will help the assigned member of staff to see whether the medical fridge temperature has risen or fallen outside of the required cold-chain range, and allow them to react as quickly as possible.

Why Use a Dedicated Medical Fridge?

As already discussed, using a dedicated medical fridge is required to safely store vaccines. They are able to provide highly accurate temperature readings which are needed to maintain the cold- chain, and are equipped with alarm sensors which can alert staff members if the cold-chain temperature is compromised. 

Medical fridges also come equipped with door locks. This helps to prevent any unauthorised access to the fridge, and the vaccines that are being stored inside. Particularly during high demand periods of the year, this additional security measure may be needed. 

Assess Whether you Have Sufficient Storage Capacity

Ahead of vaccine season, healthcare practitioners should assess whether their current infrastructure is fit for purpose to accommodate an increase in vaccine storage.

If it appears that you do not currently have the luxury of more storage space, you may need to invest in another medical fridge to help you over the vaccine season.

In this instance, a small medical fridge is likely the best option. They can be installed under a desk or on a counter-top and will allow practitioners to store additional vaccines without taking up a lot of additional room.

Of course, for those who require more storage space there are medium sized medical fridges and large medical fridges available too.

Get in Touch!

If you require more assistance with choosing the right medical fridge for your needs, contact a member of the CoolMed team here.