Vaccinations are how we keep ourselves protected, even when the immediate threat seems to be over.
One of the most forward-thinking forms of medication today, vaccinations have saved millions of lives and continue to protect entire populations against countless diseases. From rubella to the German measles, it’s difficult to imagine what life would be like without this simple, yet powerful resource. Technology today has continued to advance in spectacular ways, such as the pharmacy freezer for long-term storage. Learning how to maintain your vaccine refrigerator freezer requires a deeper knowledge of temperature and organization.
Make sure no patient is put at risk by learning about vaccine storage refrigerators and the pharmaceutical freezer below.
Vaccines Are Necessary To Save Lives
The function of a vaccine is to expose the human body to a weakened form of a virus to help it build a natural protection. Without this simple resource many adults and children would be at risk for severe illness, disability, and even death. The number of measles-related deaths decreased by nearly 80% between 2000 and 2014, going from 545,000 to just under 115,000. Back in 2014 the U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention estimated vaccinations will prevent over 20 million hospitalizations. In the past this wasn’t nearly so easy to determine.
Vaccination Wasn’t Always So Widespread
Vaccines are one of humanity’s greatest achievements. They prevent over two and a half million deaths every year and keep populations safe from illnesses that could spread in a matter of days. Saving lives for over 300 years, it wasn’t until the late 1700’s that the ‘arm to arm’ inoculation against smallpox would be introduced. Large-scale vaccine production became possible in the late 1940’s, with recommended vaccines at the time including Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (or whooping cough). One of the more common vaccines today is the flu vaccine, though some still neglect to use it.
The Flu Virus Is Becoming More Deadly
The flu can seem mundane to some, manifesting as a particularly bad week of nausea, fever, and chills. To very young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems it can become a matter of life or death. The CDC discovered as many as 700,000 flu-related hospitalizations have occurred since 2010, on top of 55,000 flu-related deaths. Left unchecked the flu can result in severe dehydration, abnormally high fevers, and serious muscle pain. It’s recommended individuals receive the updated flu vaccine once per year.
Temperature Maintains Vaccine Quality
One of the most significant factors in keeping vaccines effective is temperature. According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention refrigerated vaccines should be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or five degrees Celsius), while frozen vaccines should be between -58 degrees and five degrees Fahrenheit. The pharmacy freezer is designed with the express purpose of ensuring everyone is exposed to a life-saving compound. Anything less can cause a ripple effect felt by millions.
Refrigerators Should Always Be Closely Monitored
Your vaccine freezer needs to be checked on regularly to ensure quality. Even a single digit dropped in temperature can compromise the entire shelf. The three most important steps to maintaining your pharmacy freezer is to store vaccines at the ideal temperature, record daily temperatures at the beginning of the workday, and double-check the temperature whenever you access the refrigerator. Anything that appears off should be reported immediately so stock can be replaced. It’s thought nearly 25 million children around the world do not have access to life-saving vaccine series.
Make a difference. Keep your pharmacy freezer working properly at all times and spread awareness about the benefits of vaccinations.