The last few centuries have seen a number of major advances in the field of medicine, from germ theory and microscopes to sterilization of surgical equipment all the way to vaccines. All of these innovations are important in the battle against disease, and vaccines in particular save many lives every single year around the world. With routine shots and vaccinations, children and adults receive boosted immunity from disease, and this has led to many reductions in disease fatalities around the world. But these vaccines, for all their power, are fragile and sensitive to temperature, so the staff of a hospital or research lab will use vaccine refrigerator freezers and pharmaceutical grade refrigerators to store delicate vaccines at a proper temperature. Vaccine freezers can keep vaccines at a very low temperature, and vaccine refrigerators can store them at higher temperatures if need be (not all vaccines are frozen). What is there to know about medical fridge freezers and the like?
Vaccines Then and Now
The history of vaccines dates back further than some people may realize, and vaccines as we know them were innovated back in 1796. In that year, a British scientist 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 skin blister of a cowpox patient. Next, he transferred this sample to the skin of a second patient, which would then train that patient’s immune system to recognize and fight off diseases such as smallpox and cowpox. This concept proved a success, and many more vaccines were developed and used across the following decades. By the 1940s, mass production of vaccines began, and many of them fought off common diseases of the time such as smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus. Now, in the 21st century, vaccines can also suppress measles and polio, and some diseases have been declared extinct due to the use of vaccines.
People young and old around the world should and do get vaccines and shots to reinforce their immune systems. Children and babies have particular need of them, as routine shots and inoculations can bolster their developing immune systems and keep them safe from diseases. In centuries past, many children and babies died to disease, but modern vaccines put a stop to that. Adults can also get routine shots to update their immune systems, and the elderly can also get shots to bolster their age-worn immune systems. For example, this can help control the spread of disease in crowded retirement homes.
Vaccine Refrigerators and Freezers
There is no doubt that vaccines are powerful and effective, but these vaccines also need proper storage solutions until they are used at a hospital or clinic. The staff at a hospital or research lab can look for vaccine refrigerators and medical grade freezer units to buy, as opposed to ordinary, commercial cooler units. Conventional fridges and freezers are designed for food, not medical goods, and they have an unacceptably wide temperature variance when their doors are opened. Instead, medical grade vaccine refrigerators and the like are designed to carefully contain vaccines and the like. These models vary in their size, shape, and internal temperature, and buyers can find wholesale models available from the online catalogs of medical suppliers. That, and buyers can also find gently used vaccine refrigerators from the secondary market, though they should inspect a used unit before buying it.
The CDC has released guidelines about temperature storage for vaccines. Some vaccines need to be frozen in storage, and a vaccine freezer should have an internal temperature of -58 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or -50 to -15 degrees Celsius. Other vaccines, in fridges, can be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or 5 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, care should be taken so that the buyer does not get a fridge that is too large or too small. A large hospital’s staff can clear up enough floor space to place a large medical freezer to store many vaccines at once, while the staff at a small research lab can use a petite benchtop freezer or even an “under the counter” model to save space while storing vaccines.