The field of medicine has enjoyed a number of advances in the past few centuries, such as the invention of microscopes in the 1600s to allow scientists to examine tiny organisms in fine detail. Germ theory also went a long way in the fight against disease, and the same can be said of vaccines. Both past and present, vaccines have done a lot of work in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, and today’s vaccines are more effective and advanced than ever. But these vaccines are also somewhat delicate and sensitive to temperature, so the proper storage units should be used at a hospital or a research lab to contain them. This is why labs and hospitals will use biomedical refrigerators, vaccine freezers, pharmaceutical freezers, and the like. These units can be found for purchase from medical supply wholesalers or from the secondary market. What should a buyer look for in biomedical refrigerators or freezers? And what about the history of vaccines?
Vaccines Past and Present
Vaccines are an older concept than some people may realize. Back in the year 1796, a man named Edward Jenner developed what he called the “arm to arm” inoculation technique, the first true vaccine. He did this by extracting a tissue sample from the skin blister of a cowpox patient and transferring that material to the arm of another patient. In this way, the second patient’s immune system was trained to recognize and fight off diseases such as cowpox and smallpox. The idea proved a success, and vaccines were further used and developed as time went on. By the 1940s, vaccines had entered mass production for the first time, and they often were geared to fight common diseases of the time such as Diphtheria, whooping couch, tetanus, and smallpox. By now, vaccines can also fight off diseases such as Polio and smallpox.
Many statistics show how powerful and effective vaccines are today. For example, general statistic show that around the world, nearly 2.5 million deaths are prevented with vaccines, and this certainly includes measles. The WHO and the Measles and Rubella Initiative have announced, for example, that since the year 2000, over 17.1 million lives have been saved due to measles vaccines. What is more, around 548,000 people died from measles in the year 2000, but by 2014, that figure had dropped to 114,900, which is a considerable 79% decrease.
Who gets these vaccines the most often? Responsible parents will take in their children to the doctor’s office for routine shots and inoculations against a variety of illnesses, which can bolster a child’s developing immune system. This compares favorably to centuries past, when many children and babies died of disease. Also, the elderly often get shots to update their immune systems, and this is helpful to prevent the spread of disease in crowded retirement homes or communities.
Biomedical Refrigerators and Vaccine Storage
Vaccines are effective, to be sure, but they are also sensitive to temperature, as mentioned above. So, the staff of any research lab or hospital will have the right medical grade freezers or fridges, such as biomedical refrigerators, on hand to store these vaccines safely.
It should be noted that ordinary, commercial freezers and fridge units are not sufficient for this, since they are designed to store regular food and beverages inside. These units’ internal temperatures vary too widely as the doors are opened and closed, so labs and hospitals will limit themselves to medical grade biomedical refrigerators that carefully regulate themselves and their temperature. These units may be bought from the online catalogs that medical supply wholesalers may provide, and some buyers may even find gently used models on the secondary market. Before buying a used unit, a buyer should look it over to ensure that it is in good shape.
These units vary in size, and that should be taken into account. A too-large unit won’t even fit in a cramped or small lab, and a too-small unit can’t store all the vaccines that a large hospital will have on hand. Floor space can be cleared up a in a hospital for a larger freezer, and a small research lab may purchase a modest, benchtop freezer model. Under-the-counter units can save even more space in a cramped lab.