The Correct Medical Refrigerator Temperature Range

correct medical refridgerator
According to the CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit, the correct medical refrigerator temperature range is 36-46 Fahrenheit.

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I recently took my Florida Immunization CE Course that is required every license renewal period to give vaccines in the Sunshine State.

While the course was overall very well done, it unfortunately listed an incorrect refrigerator temperature range that has persisted years after the CDC changed it.

According to the CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit, the correct medical refrigerator temperature range is 36-46 Fahrenheit.

But this course listed 35-46F. It’s not to pick on this course either – many pharmacies to this day have old temperature logs listing 35-46F as the correct range.

Why the difference?

Previous editions of the CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit did in fact list 35F. It all comes down to rounding.

The correct temperature range, in Celsius, is 2-8 degrees. 2 Degrees Celsius = 35.6 Fahrenheit. In the past, the number was rounded down. But this actually means that, if your refrigerator at 35F, it’s actually out of range and should be treated as a temperature excursion.

To ensure medical refrigerators stayed within 2-8C, the bottom end of the range was changed from 35 to 36F.

Read more from the CDC on this change here.

One other huge benefit of understanding this fact: If your refrigerator temperature dips slightly below 36, but still above 35.6, it can be treated as within range.

Get updated temperature logs for free through the links in the Free Forms section.

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