A refrigerator or freezer that is NSF-certified for vaccine storage means the units have been tested and certified to meet the NSF/American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 456 standard. The NSF/ANSI 456 standard (or simply “NSF 456” standard) defines the criteria for construction and performance of vaccine refrigerators and freezers used in healthcare settings where vaccines are given. These criteria were developed through a collaboration with NSF, CDC, healthcare providers, public health agencies, equipment manufacturers, and vaccine manufacturers, including experts from Immunize.org.
The NSF 456 certification is a voluntary standard. CDC does not require NSF-certified units for vaccine storage in the Vaccines for Children program or any other federal program. Not all storage units capable of reliably storing vaccines have this certification; however, all storage unit models with this certification have been designed and proven to properly store vaccines under a range of normal clinic conditions. NSF-certified units would be good options for clinic staff to consider when purchasing vaccine storage units.