The process from minus 70 degrees to the application of the Biontech vaccine, which has been made in Turkey since January, has been viewed. Antalya Health Directorate Vaccine Unit Supervisor Dr. Özge Abacı Bozyel said, “The temperature and how long the vaccine stays in the transfer process is controlled through the barcode system. It is automatically determined at what temperature, how many days, how many hours it will remain. There is no margin of human error,” he said.
Sinovac and Biontech vaccines, which are carefully transported and monitored from the warehouses of the Ministry of Health, are applied to the determined priority groups respectively. Sinovac vaccines can be kept between 2 and 8 degrees during the storage and application process. In Biontech vaccines, the process works differently.
Biontech vaccines, which need to be stored and transported at minus 70 degrees, are sent to provinces with dry ice in special boxes from main warehouses. Vaccines are transferred to cabinets between minus 70 and 80 degrees. Vaccines can be stored here until their expiration date, unless the temperature rises or is removed.
Vaccines, which are removed from minus 70 degrees, are first taken to cold storage between 2 and 8 degrees and are expected to melt for 3 hours. Vaccines, which can be stored for 120 hours in warehouses at this temperature, are separated daily according to the number of appointments made for vaccination in hospitals.
Then it is carried to the vaccination rooms in mini cabinets at the same temperature. The vaccines, which are kept in cabinets whose temperatures in the rooms are monitored, are finally applied to the citizens.
The vaccine is monitored with a barcode system from the exit of the warehouse until it reaches the citizen. The location of the vaccines whose barcodes are scanned at the exit and entrance of each unit is monitored. The temperatures in cabinets where vaccines are kept and during transport are also monitored by sensors. Sensors give an audible warning in case of any temperature change. If the vaccine has been found in a different situation and has become unusable, a warning is given that it cannot be used with the barcode read.
Providing information about the transportation and storage process of vaccines, Antalya Provincial Health Directorate Vaccination Unit Supervisor Dr. Özge Abacı Bozyel said, “Both of our vaccines come from the main warehouse to our provincial warehouse. Sinovac vaccines come between 2-8 degrees and are stored. The storage conditions of Biontech vaccines are slightly different. Bioentech vaccine comes to us at minus 70 degrees in dry ice in special containers from the central warehouse. Here it can be stored in minus 70 degree cabinets until the expiry date. When it is transferred from dry ice to minus 25 degrees, it is preserved for 14 days. Before application, we take it in a 2-8 degree cupboard and wait for it to melt for 3 hours. We can keep the vaccine for 120 hours at 2-8 degrees. After leaving this cupboard, the vaccine is diluted and a 6-person dose is made from a vial. It can wait 6 hours after it is diluted, “he said.
Dr. Bozyel said, “The temperature and how long the vaccine stays in the transfer process is controlled through the barcode system. There is a very professional vaccine tracking system in our country. At what degree, how many days, how many hours it will stay is determined automatically. There is no margin for human error in any way. As soon as the vaccine leaves the warehouse, its barcode is scanned and the process begins. While it is applied to the patient, the barcode is scanned for the last time. With the barcode scanned here, it becomes clear whether the vaccine is stored at appropriate degrees. If the vaccine has exceeded the appropriate ratings, waiting times, the system does not allow this, “he said.
Stating that vaccines are followed meticulously, Dr. Bozyel said, “The degrees of all our cabinets are automatically monitored through the vaccine tracking system. The system gives an alarm when the temperature of the cabinets decreases or rises. He sends a message to the mobile phone of the person in charge of the locker and calls. ‘The temperature of the cupboard has dropped or risen. Check out ‘warnings are given. Vaccines are followed with great care. Our citizens can be sure of the effectiveness and safety of all vaccines, “he said.
Stating that vaccines have to be as fast as possible in the process of moving from the warehouse to the vaccine rooms, Antalya Training and Research Hospital Vaccination Unit Supervisor Sevilay Sarı said, “When we come to work every day, we first look at the degrees of our vaccine containers. We take the vaccines from the pharmacy between 2-8 degrees and transfer them. According to the number of appointments on that day, I take the vaccines from the pharmacy and put them in my container. I distribute the vaccines I got from there to the nurses in the vaccination rooms. Here, too, friends are hiding them in adjustable cabinets. If there are 6 people to be vaccinated in the last hours of the evening, we do not open the vaccine. “If we could not complete 6 people at that hour, we talk to the citizens and tell them to come the next day, and if we open this dose, the remaining part will be lost,” he said.
Specialist at the Antalya Education and Research Hospital Vaccination Unit. Dr. Aysime Bulca Acar said that they have reached the serious number of vaccinations so far.
Acar said, “In the beginning, there were some doubts in our people like all of us. Especially regarding the side effects of vaccines. Until now, we have not encountered any life-threatening side effects from vaccines. Those who come to be vaccinated often come with question marks about the protection and side effects of vaccines. There are simple effects we can expect. Since vaccines are just beginning to be applied around the world, there are no clear data on protection rates. But the results are gratifying, “he said.