Most people are aware that human vaccines need special transport, storage and handling due to maintain product efficacy. However, animal vaccines need the same amount of care and consideration. In the time between the instant a vaccine leaves the manufacturer’s plant until the moment it’s injected into an animal, there are several potential “weak links” in the distribution process where vaccines can be unintentionally contaminated or inactivated. It’s critical to keep temperatures consistent during transport, as well as during storage, so vaccines are not rendered ineffective or dangerous due to improper handling. This can be done by storing product in control room temperature (CRT), chill room, or frozen space. Today we are focusing on CRT.
What is Control Room Temperature?
Control Room Temperature (CRT) is a very specific guideline from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) which designates the proper temperatures for the storage and transportation of pharmaceuticals for both humans and animals. The USP says that CRT is defined as, “The temperature maintained thermostatically that encompasses the usual and customary working environment of 20°–25° (68°–77° F).” Transportation allowances can vary between 15° and 30° (59° and 86° F) so long as the mean kinetic temperature (fluctuations of temperature) does not exceed 25°. However, some industry experts believe the CRT blanket guideline will soon be replaced by individualized standards for specific types of vaccines and other animal health products. The guidelines as listed above were last updated in May of 2017.
Why is a Temperature Controlled Environment So Important for Animal Health?
Veterinary medicine uses several different kinds of vaccines. They use modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines, killed and adjuvanted vaccines, and recombinant vaccines. Each different type of vaccine has a different storage temperature requirement. When temperatures are too warm, vaccines can be rendered less effective, completely ineffective, or dangerous. That said, temperatures that are too cold can also adversely affect vaccines according to the 2006 American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel report. When some vaccines are too cold, the adjuvant (or vaccine booster) may separate from the antigen (the base active part of the vaccine) and form a precipitate (a solid that comes from a solution). Now, when a veterinarian or technician gives the vaccine, he or she may not see the precipitate, and upon injection, it may cause inflammation or worse in the animal. In the most basic sense, when the temperature is not consistently monitored it can harm animals.
No one wants to see an animal suffer or go unprotected due to improper vaccine handling. It’s critical for manufacturers to monitor every step of the distribution process from the moment the vaccine is created to the moment it’s injected into the family pet. This process requires a tight supply chain and extensive monitoring and tracking of animal health products at every point in their journey. An educated and experienced 3PL, like Langham Logistics, has the industry know-how, technology, and detailed oversight to ensure that all animal health products make it to their furry, scaled, and feathered friends completely efficacious and at their highest potency. Contact us today to get more information on our Animal Health Services.