Choosing the Right Vaccine Refrigerator for Your Facility

Vaccines have been responsible for the eradication of diseases like smallpox, cholera and polio. To ensure widest coverage and maximum effectiveness, the correct storage and transportation of vaccines is essential. Storage temperatures must be carefully controlled and monitored to prevent spoilage. A wide range of scientific freezers and vaccine refrigerators are available for use in labs, medical offices, and pharmacies. However, many health professionals, including doctors, scientists and pharmacists may not be aware of the different types they can chose from to find the one that best ousts their needs.

Vaccines end epidemics and reduce preventable deaths
Vaccines have helped to eradicate a number of diseases, like smallpox, cholera and polio, and to reduce mortality from infectious diseases like measles and flu. The first smallpox vaccine was developed in 1796 by Edward Jenner, and its use worldwide has ended the disease and the dreaded epidemics associated with it.
Vaccines continue to save lives, and the World Health Organization estimates that the measles vaccine has saved 1.7 million lives since 2000. Vaccines are estimated to prevent 2.5 million preventable deaths every year. This makes vaccines one of the most important tools in public health and welfare.

Why storing and handling vaccines correctly matters
To be effective, vaccines must be stored and handled properly. Unless they are kept at the correct temperatures, vaccines can spoil and lose their efficacy. However it’s easy to make mistakes, and unfortunately this is also a very common occurrence. Errors in storing vaccines can reduce their potency and ability to protect against diseases. Vaccine spoilage can be very wasteful and costly.
Using the right vaccine storage refrigerators can prevent this, by keeping the vaccines at the recommended temperatures. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that frozen vaccines be stored at temperatures between -58 degrees and 5 degrees Fahrenheit and refrigerated vaccines at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Proper procedures should be followed to ensure that the correct temperatures are maintained. Temperatures should be monitored daily and each time the vaccine refrigerator freezer is accessed.

Choosing the right scientific freezer or refrigerator
There are many different kinds of scientific freezers and lab refrigerators, and there are several factors to keep in mind when choosing one for your purposes. Medical refrigerators can be very specialized, and different types are used for storing vaccines, pharmaceutical supplies and blood. You should pick a specialized unit depending on your needs. Size and placement are also factors to consider.
You need a size that fits your facility, but the unit you choose should also have the right capacity to fit all your vaccines without overcrowding. Refrigerators work best when they are filled in the range of 30 to 80% of their capacity. In general, you should pick a size that can store your maximum inventory without overcrowding. Choices for placement include built-in and free-standing styles, as well as countertop and under the counter models.

Vaccines have been and continue to be important components of the public health toolkit. Proper storage and handling of vaccines is necessary to maintain their potency and efficacy. Maintaining the right temperatures for storing and transportation is essential. Health professionals can choose from many different types of scientific freezers and refrigerators depending on their specific needs.

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