Health

Background

Proper storage of vaccines: Check the fridge!

Farmers are being urged to check their farm fridge temperature after new research conducted by MSD Animal Health found none of the fridges observed storing vaccines were able to maintain the correct internal temperature of between 20C and 80C.

In addition, less than half of those surveyed knew the correct temperature for vaccine storage, showing there is a lack of knowledge surrounding standard procedures.

Paul Williams, MSD Animal Health UK technical manager for ruminants, explains why it’s important vaccines are kept within the correct temperature range. “Failing to maintain the correct fridge storage temperature compromises vaccine effectiveness and consequently animal health. In a significant number of farm fridges monitored, the temperature was elevated to 80C for long periods of time, with the maximum fridge temperature recorded being 240C. In the worst cases, over 60% of fridges had been at 0 0C or below 0 0C, long enough for vital contents to freeze. When the temperature is too high, vaccines become ineffective. If frozen, the vaccine is destroyed’.

Photo: Bert Jansen
Photo: Bert Jansen

Williams explains that this research shows we have work to do in educating customers about how to store vaccines. “I encourage all farmers to check their farm fridge temperatures. To promote better practice, we’ve launched an awareness campaign called Fridge Check to educate farmers on the importance of storing vaccines correctly. The campaign is being promoted by Disease? Not On My Farm!, an initiative helping farmers take a more proactive approach to preventing disease on farm.”

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