The medical field has enjoyed a variety of discoveries and innovations in the last few centuries, from microscopes to germ theory to sterilization techniques for medical instruments. Let’s not forget vaccines, either, which have been protecting lives from deadly viruses for over 200 years now. Vaccines are delicate, however, and they need proper storage until they are used, such as in vaccine refrigerator freezers or similar medical grade freezers. Some vaccine refrigerator freezers are huge, and others may be petite benchtop freezer models. But all of them are designed to generate and maintain a steady temperature inside. What is there to know about pharmacy freezers and medical freezers, and vaccines as a whole?
All About Vaccines
The very idea of vaccines is a fairly old one, and vaccines as we know them were first pioneered back in the year 1796. At the time, a certain British scientist, Edward Jenner, developed what he called the “arm to arm” inoculation method to protect patients from smallpox. To do this, he would extract a tissue sample from a cowpox patient’s skin blister and transfer it to a second patient, thus training the second patient’s immune system to recognize and fight off such diseases. Needless to say, this method proved a success, and vaccines continued to be developed and used ever since then for years to come. By the 1940s, mass production of vaccines had begun, and many of those vaccines could fight off common diseases of the day, such as smallpox, whooping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus. Now, in the 21st century, vaccines can also protect patients from measles, Polio, and more. Some viruses have been declared entirely extinct.
Children, adults, and the elderly alike all need vaccines, and children in particular need routine shots to bolster their young immune systems and protect them from harm. Responsible parents will bring their children in regularly to the doctor and have those routine shots done. Meanwhile, older patients may visit urgent care centers or hospitals during flu drives, and become safer during influenza season. The elderly need vaccines to update and strengthen their age-worn immune systems, which can help prevent the spread of disease in crowded retirement homes.
What do statistics show? Every year, around 2.5 million preventable deaths are indeed prevented due to vaccines and shots, and measles in particular has become much less of a threat thanks to vaccines. From the year 2000 to 2014, for example, the yearly death count from measles dropped 79%, from 546,800 down to 114,000. The WHO and the Measles and Rubella Initiative have estimated that 17.1 million lives have been saved via the measles vaccine since the year 2000. But still, this is only possible when vaccines are properly stored, and that means having vaccine refrigerator freezers and fridges on hand.
Using Cold Storage for Vaccines
Vaccines are powerful, but delicate, and they are sensitive to temperature. For their cold storage needs, though, commercial fridges and freezers are not sufficient, since they are designed for ordinary food and drinks instead. Such storage units suffer serious disruptions to their internal temperatures when their doors are opened, but medical grade freezers and fridges do not have this problem, thus protecting delicate vaccines inside. Such vaccine refrigerator freezers can maintain temperatures well within the CDC’s guidelines. More specifically, frozen vaccines need a temperature of -58 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or -50 to -15 degrees Celsius for proper storage. As for regular vaccines in a medical grade fridge, a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended, or 5 degrees Celsius.
These medical grade freezers and fridges are available for sale to wholesale buyers, such as the staff at a hospital, urgent care center, or a research lab. Buyers can look through online catalogs and find a model they want, and there is also the option of gently used models on the secondary market for a discount price. Buyers should look over those used models carefully before purchase, though. Also, take note that some vaccine refrigerator freezers are larger than others; a busy hospital can clear up floor space for a huge model before a flu drive, while the staff at a small research lab can buy a petite benchtop freezer model to save room. There are also under-the-counter models available.