Many major breakthroughs have transformed science and medicine as we know it in the last few hundred years, from germ theory to advanced anatomy to sterilization all the way to vaccines. All of these innovations have made it much easier to fight back against disease, and today, vaccines are among the most important lines of defense against contagion. Millions of lives are saved every year thanks to regular vaccines and shots, and death rates due to measles and similar diseases have dropped significantly within living memory. All this is possible when a hospital or a research lab has the correct vaccine refrigerator freezers on hand, and these medical refrigerators can store vaccines at a proper temperature. Vaccines are powerful, but they are also temperature sensitive, so vaccine storage refrigerators and lab freezers are a must. How can a hospital’s staff find the right model to purchase?
A History of Vaccines
First, there is the history and nature of vaccines to consider. This concept is older than some people might realize, as vaccines date back to the late 1700s. In the year 1796, the British scientist Edward Jenner developed what he called the “arm to arm” inoculation method to fight off smallpox, and he did this by extracting a tissue sample from the skin blister of a cowpox patient. Once that tissue sample is transferred to a second patient, that second patient’s immune system is trained to recognize and fight off viruses of that nature, thus making them more immune to cowpox and smallpox. The idea was a success, and vaccines began to be used more and more in the following decades. By the 1940s, quite a few different illnesses could be targeted by vaccines, and in that decade, vaccines entered pass production. They could protect patients from smallpox, whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria. By now, in the 21st century, measles and polio are also targeted with vaccines, and some viruses have been declared extinct.
Who needs vaccines? Everyone does, most of all babies and children. A baby or toddler’s immune system is still growing, and will need reinforcements from routine shots and vaccines to build up immunity. Responsible parents will bring their children to the clinic or pediatrician for these routine shots, and this can prevent the high child mortality rates of centuries past. Meanwhile, older adults can also get shots to update their immunity, and the elderly also need shots to bolster their age-worn immune systems. This can help prevent the spread of infectious disease in a crowded retirement home, for example.
Vaccine Storage Refrigerators
As mentioned earlier, vaccines are vital and effective, but they are also temperature sensitive, so a research lab’s staff or hospital’s staff will need to purchase the correct types of vaccine storage refrigerators and freezers for the job. Ordinary freezers and fridges will not do well, since they are designed to hold food and have a high variance in temperature as their doors are opened. That could compromise the vaccines inside, so instead, specialized vaccine storage refrigerators and freezers must be used. After all, they are designed to hold delicate vaccines at a carefully controlled temperature.
The CDC has released guidelines on temperature storage for vaccines, and frozen vaccines should be stored at -58 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or -50 to -15 degrees Celsius. Other vaccines do not need to be frozen, and they can be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or 5 degrees Celsius. These specialized freezers and vaccine storage refrigerators are available from medical suppliers, who may have online catalogs that wholesale buyers can browse. Not only that, but research lab staff or hospital staff can find gently used vaccine storage refrigerators on the secondary market, though they should inspect a used unit before purchasing it. Either way, size should be taken into account too, a some lab fridges are larger and can store more vaccines than others. At a large hospital, staff can clear up the floor space for a large-scale medical freezer and store many vaccines in it at once. The staff at a small research lab, meanwhile, can buy a small, countertop unit, or they can even buy an “under the counter” model that saves even more room while in use.