How a Medical Freezer Stores Vaccines

Modern medicine is based on a number of stunning innovations, and today’s medicine is more advanced than ever before. This includes the work done at research labs around the world, and vaccines have emerged as one of the finest ways to promote human health and prevent deadly disease. For just over two centuries, vaccines have saved countless lives and contained deadly viruses, and vaccines are more relevant than ever. Americans young and old receive inoculation against contagions such as measles and influenza, but these vaccines still have mundane needs such as storage. Vaccines are fragile, and need the right storage arrangements to last longer. This is where medical freezers are involved. A vaccine refrigerator or medical grade refrigerator will be needed at any properly equipped lab or hospital, and these lab freezers can do a lot of good for temperature-sensitive vaccines and lab samples. A lab’s crew may look for new medical freezers online if they need to, and the proper medical freezer will keep vaccines safe until use. A pharmacy freezer or fridge is no ordinary cooling unit; a medical freezer is built for precise temperature control.

Vaccines Then and Now

Deadly viruses have always infected human beings, but starting in the late 1700s, scientists found ways to fight back and keep lives safe from disease. Back in 1796, a man named Edward Jenner developed what he called the “arm to arm” inoculation method against smallpox, and he did this by extracting a tissue sample from the blister of a cowpox victim. He would then inject this sample into the arm of a patient, and this “trained” the patient’s immune system against viruses of that nature. This could help them resist future infections. This technology advanced over the decades, and by the 1940s, vaccines were being produced in large quantities for the first time. Common diseases of that time such as Diphtheria, whooping cough, smallpox, and tetanus were targeted by these vaccines. Now, in the 21st century, the list of diseases resisted by vaccines is even longer, and measles and Polio are on that list. Now, smallpox and Polio are almost never found outside of a lab.

Who needs vaccines? Everyone does, young and old. Young children are inoculated for the first time to boost their developing immune systems, and this can prevent them from contracting dangerous illnesses such as smallpox and measles. Adults need inoculations too to keep them updated, and the elderly need vaccines since their immune systems are worn out in old age. Disease can spread fast in crowded retirement homes unless the residents there have vaccines in place.

It is safe to say that vaccines have saved a lot of lives just in the last 30 years, and statistics are being kept to track this progress. According to the World Health Organizations as well as the Measles and Rubella Initiative, nearly 17.1 million lives have been saved due to the measles vaccine since the year 2000. Similarly, the total fatalities due to measles has dropped from 546,800 in the year 2000 to 114,900 as of 2014, an impressive 79% decrease. Overall, estimates show that vaccines prevent over two million unnecessary deaths around the world every single year. However, these vaccines will only work if they are stored properly, and that’s something for today’s lab technicians and hospital staff to keep in mind.

A Medical Freezer or Fridge

Vaccines are temperature sensitive, and they may be ruined in storage unless they are stored at the right temperature. Frozen vaccines, according to the CDC, should be kept at a temperature range of -58 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and other vaccines should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These precise temperatures may not be possible with a regular, commercial cooling or freezing unit, since they’re meant to store food. These units have unacceptably wide temperature swings when they are opened or closed, so medical grade units should be bought wholesale. A lab’s crew should also ensure that the size and weight of the unit fits their needs, since a too-large medical freezer is a waste of space and money and a too-small unit can’t store all the vaccines on site. For space concerns, an under-the-counter fridge unit may be purchased.

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