The field of medicine has come a long way in the last few centuries, and developments such as vaccines, germ theory, and microscopes have made people safer and healthier than ever before. Vaccines, in particular, are essential for fighting off deadly diseases and preventing many deaths around the world today. Countless studies can confirm this, and some diseases have become very rare or even wiped out entirely. But vaccines, while powerful, still need proper storage solutions until they are used, such as in laboratory refrigerators or vaccine refrigerator freezers. These wholesale laboratory refrigerators and pharmacy freezers are no ordinary cooling units; proper laboratory refrigerators can store many vaccines at once and carefully regulate their internal temperatures to protect vaccine inside. No hospital would function without a laboratory refrigerator or a medical grade freezer on hand. What is there to know about vaccines and their storage solutions?
All About Vaccines
The very concept of vaccines dates back quite far, to the late 1700s. Vaccines as we know them were pioneered when the British scientist Edward Jenner developed the “arm to arm” inoculation method in 1796. Designed to protect a patient from smallpox, Mr. Jenner would extract a tissue sample from the skin blister of a cowpox patient and transfer it to a second patient. This controlled exposure helped to train the second patient’s immune system to recognize and fight off cowpox and smallpox, and this proved a success. Vaccines have been in use ever since, and by the 1940s, vaccines entered mass production for the first time. At the time, they often fought off smallpox, Diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus, among other common diseases of the day. By now, in the 21st century, vaccines can also fight off measles, Polio, and other viruses.
Vaccines are essential for everyone, young and old, and they can help maintain public heath and prevent deadly viruses from spreading. For example, babies and toddlers receive many shots to bolster their developing immune systems, and this is vital for their health. In centuries past, many children and babies died from disease, but not in the modern age. After a baby is born, the parents may receive a schedule for when they should bring the child to the doctor’s for shots (multiple visits, in fact). Meanwhile, adults may get shots to keep their immune systems up to date, and during influenza season, urgent care centers and hospitals may host flu shot drives to keep the community safe. Even senior citizens should keep current on their shots, since a senior citizen’s immune system is worn out from age. Vaccines can help prevent the spread of illnesses in crowded retirement homes.
Proper Vaccine Storage
Many studies can confirm the live-saving power of vaccines. Just as one example, the annual total measles-related deaths dropped 79% from the year 2000 to 2014. But these vaccines are delicate, and they have to be stored in laboratory refrigerators and the like or risk becoming compromised. So, the staff at a research lab or a hospital may look online and find scientific freezers and other pharmacy grade cooling units to buy. Ordinary, commercial freezers and fridges will not suffice, since they are designed to store food, and their internal temperature changes too much whenever their doors are opened. Buyers can also look for laboratory refrigerators and the like on the secondary market for a discount price, but even a gently used model should be looked over and evaluated in person before a purchase is made.
What to look for in a scientific freezer? These units can control their internal temperature easily, and they will have rack space for conveniently storing vaccines. The CDC specifies that frozen vaccines should be stored between -58 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or -50 to -15 degrees Celsius. Regular vaccines may be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or 5 degrees Celsius. Some of these laboratory refrigerators may be larger than others, and a large hospital may buy one to store hundreds of vaccines at once. This may help for a flu shot drive, for example. The staff at a small research lab, by contrast, might buy a small benchtop model to save room, or even an undercounter medical refrigerator to save even more room.