The 2016 Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit, released last month, reflects an adjustment in CDC’s guidance on the Fahrenheit temperature range for storing refrigerated vaccines. The new recommended Fahrenheit temperature range is 36° F – 46° F (previously 35° F – 46° F). The Celsius temperature range (2° C – 8° C) remains unchanged, as stated in all manufacturer package inserts for routinely recommended vaccines.

The conversion of 2°-8° Celsius equates to 35.6°-46.4° Fahrenheit. Among routinely recommended vaccines, most manufacturers’ package inserts note a Fahrenheit temperature range of 36° F-46°° F, while some note a temperature range of 35°°F-46° F. The Fahrenheit temperature range of 36° F-46° F aligns with guidance from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), a scientific organization that sets federally recognized quality standards for food and drugs.

By adjusting CDC’s guidance for the Fahrenheit temperature range from 35°°F-46° F to 36° F-46°°F, CDC is ensuring that its recommended Fahrenheit temperature range does not conflict with the package inserts of any routinely recommended vaccines. The CDC has recommended a set point of 5° C (40° F) and recommends that providers check their digital data logger’s current Fahrenheit temperature range settings and adjust them accordingly.

During the remaining 2016 site visits, VFC inspectors will be helping to drive these changes, and beginning January 2017, all VFC program providers must comply with the adjusted Fahrenheit temperature range for refrigerated vaccines.

For the full list of Q&A around the new recommended Fahrenheit temperature ranges, click here.