The International Society for the Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER), which represents professional experts in biobanking, ultra-low temperature (ULT) storage and cold chain management, has released its position statement listing key practices health agencies should consider to support the COVID-19 vaccine distribution with dedicated ULT freezers.
The document, titled “Ultra Low Temperature Freezers: Key Considerations,” provides evidence based guidance for those responsible for distribution, storage, and management of the vaccine, to resources that detail the fundamentals of safe and efficient ULT freezer management, shipping and distribution.
“The global biobanking community has consolidated our knowledge and expertise into a brief one page resource. We aim to minimize the learning curve and to help people and health agencies new to ultra-low temperature storage avoid common pitfalls.”
Piper Mullins, President-Elect of ISBER
The document draws on accepted practices known to ensure robust ULT product storage and distribution that are routinely used by biorepositories. The document represents a consensus view from the biobanking community. The organization drew on the expertise of biorepository managers and industry vendors with further reference from the ISBER Best Practices, Fourth Edition. The statement intends to supplement guidance from national and local health agencies on managing the cold chain deployment of frozen COVID-19 vaccines.
“We want ISBER to be the go-to resource for the growing number of people who are just learning about ultra-low storage and handling during this fraught time. As a scientific community who are experts in cold chain logistics of biological specimens, it is vital that our national health agencies draw on the expertise ISBER provides to guide the proper management of freezers for the distribution of biological therapeutics.”
Associate Professor Daniel Catchpoole, President of ISBER