• Storage & Handling
  • Troubleshooting & Follow-Up

We recently hired a new company cleaning for our office, and we are concerned about them inadvertently unplugging our vaccine storage units. What do you recommend?

Even with appropriate equipment and temperature monitoring practices in place, power disruption can result in destruction of the entire vaccine supply. Precautions should always be taken to protect the storage unit’s power supply. CDC recommends the following best practices.

  • Plug in only one storage unit per electrical outlet to avoid creating a fire hazard or triggering a safety switch that turns the power off.
  • Use a safety-lock plug or an outlet cover to prevent the unit from being unplugged.
  • Post “DO NOT UNPLUG” warning signs at outlets and on storage units to alert staff, custodians, electricians, and other workers not to unplug units. A sign is available from Immunize.org at www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2090.pdf.
  • Label fuses and circuit breakers to alert people not to turn off power to a storage unit. A label is available from Immunize.org at www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2091.pdf.
  • Use caution when using power outlets that can be tripped or switched off and avoid using:
    • Built-in circuit switches (may have reset buttons)
    • Outlets that can be activated by a wall switch
    • Multi-outlet power strips.

Include this information as well as what to do if a vaccine storage temperature excursion occurs in your facility’s emergency Standing Operating Procedures.

Last reviewed: July 26, 2023

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