COVID-19 Response: Protecting Vaccine Storage and Distribution
With the COVID-19 vaccine gaining broader distribution and availability, healthcare organizations face new challenges for planning how they will safely store and distribute vaccinations.
Many considerations need to be carefully evaluated and implemented ahead of time, from ensuring that facilities remain secure to maintaining the required conditions for storing vaccine vials.
In this blog post, we examine how Verkada’s cloud-based solutions for video security, access control and environmental monitoring can help healthcare facilities solve the new challenges they face in response to helping slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Protecting Points of Entry
Across healthcare facilities, many areas must remain secure to ensure that critical functions are protected and free from tampering. This is especially true for areas where medical devices and vaccinations are stored.
Given the high-demand of the COVID-19 vaccine and the limited supply, it is even more critical that healthcare providers are ensuring these areas remain safe from wrongful entry that can lead to contamination or even potentially theft. Protecting these areas typically requires some combination of physical access control or video security.
However, for many organizations, actively monitoring door-based activity can be a challenge. Whether doors are secured through an access management system, with a lock and key or through an on-prem video security system, knowing something occurred, let alone detecting an event, is nearly impossible. Doing so in real-time is even more difficult because there is no easy way to actively monitor events.
Without any additional configurations, Verkada’s Access Control solution can provide the necessary insights into what is happening at your facility’s points of entry. Like most physical access control solutions, Verkada keeps a record of all door-based activity. However, unlike most systems, Verkada can be accessed and managed from any web-based browser or device. This means teams across facilities and security can quickly view and respond to events.
Additionally, each door managed on Verkada can be integrated with a hybrid cloud camera to gain visibility and associated evidence, reducing time of response from hours and days to nearly instantaneous.
Through Command, Verkada’s web-based management platform, administrators can also control user credentials, including customizing access and schedules to doors based on role, shift and any range of applications to your organization.
Maintaining Proper Storage Conditions
With the COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most notable distinctions is the requirement to store vials at specific temperatures to ensure the vaccine remains effective. With the two vaccines available in the U.S., there are different requirements.
For the Pfizer vaccine, vials must be stored in containers with dry ice for 30 days, refilling containers roughly every five days. Additionally, vaccines can be stored in refrigerated units at temperatures between 2 and 8º C for up to five days.
The Moderna vaccine has the same refrigeration requirement; however, it can be stored in a freezer between -25 to -15º C.
While the colder, long-term storage is best done in a concentrated container where these extremely cold temperatures can be maintained, the shorter-term storage is just as critical for facilities preparing for immediate distribution. This is especially true for pharmacies and mobile health clinics.
Unfortunately, incorrect storage conditions can lead to the unnecessary disposal of the already limited supply available. For this reason, organizations must consider ways to monitor their vaccine storage actively.
Environmental sensors can add immense value and insights for ensuring vaccines are properly stored for distribution to protect supply. As an all-in-one sensor, Verkada’s SV11 can measure a wide range of environmental readings, most notably temperature between the range of -5 to 50º C.
Like Verkada security cameras and access control, the SV11 is managed through Verkada’s web-based platform. Sensor data can be viewed from a dashboard, with insights for changes occurring by the minute, hour and day.
Most importantly, as a cloud-based solution, the SV11 can deliver critical alerts for changes happening in real-time. Organizations can set custom thresholds for when they would like to be alerted, with notifications sent to any predetermined individuals as a text message and/or email.
For example, a pharmacy could have a refrigeration unit that is set to operate at 4º C. To avoid spoilage, they can set an alert for when the storage unit reaches 3º or 6º. Doing so provides enough of a warning to take any necessary action before it’s too late.
Additionally, each SV11 sensor can be paired with a Verkada camera to gain insights into why changes may be happening. In the example above, the pharmacy could have a camera facing the door to the refrigerator. When reviewing the temperature change, they may detect that the door was held open for too long, jeopardizing the product.
Learn More About our HIPAA Compliant Solution
At Verkada, we work with many leading healthcare organizations, including Halifax Health and Chapter Health System. By delivering easy-to-use, HIPAA compliant physical security, our customers can instantly add modern solutions to improve their organizations’ safety and operations.
To learn more about how Verkada can help your healthcare facility respond to and prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and storage, contact [email protected].
Join our upcoming webinar and see how Verkada's hybrid cloud solution can help your organization plan and respond to COVID-19. Reserve your spot today.