Storage Needs for Modern Vaccines


Vaccines are among many medical innovations and developments that help modern scientists and hospital staff fight off infectious diseases, and save many lives every single year. Today, children may receive vaccines to bolster their young immune systems, and adults may receive shots to update their immunity as well. Even senior citizens may get vaccines to protect them from diseases that spread rapidly in crowded retirement or nursing homes. Vaccines today can do a lot of good, and cover a wide swath of diseases, but they are fragile and temperature-sensitive. Thus, a medical refrigerator can store some vaccines, and a vaccine freezer may contain those that must be frozen during storage. Lab freezers and pharmacy freezers or coolers range in size and shape, but they are all rated to safely store vaccines inside. What is there to know about the history of vaccines and the modern purchase of a medical refrigerator?

Vaccines Then and Now

Vaccines as we know them date back over 200 years, back to the late 1700s. In the year 1796, a man named Edward Jenner developed what he called the “arm to arm” inoculation method against smallpox. He did this when he extracted a skin blister tissue sample from a cowpox patient and transferred it to a patient. That patient’s immune system would then be “trained” to fight off similar viruses as these, without the danger of facing a full infection. This innovation proved successful, and over the following decades, vaccines continued to be used and refined to be more effective than ever. By the 1940s, large scale production of vaccines began in earnest, and common diseases at the time such as smallpox, Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough were covered. By now, in the early 21st century, even more diseases such as Polio and measles are also prevented with vaccines. These once-common diseases are now a relative rarity.

Many statistics and trends in recent years have proven how effective these vaccines are at saving lives. The World Health Organizations, as well as the Measles and and Rubella Initiative, have released data showing that around 17.1 million lives have been saved due to the measles vaccine since the year 2000. In fact, back in 2000, a total of 546,800 people succumbed to the measles virus, but by the year 2014, this figure had dropped to 114,900, a considerable 79% decrease in fatality totals. As a whole, vaccines prevent around 2.5 million unnecessary deaths around the world every single year, and that’s more than the population of some entire cities. Children, as mentioned above, receive a number of vaccines early in life to bolster their developing immune system, and the elderly may get vaccines to reinforce their age-worn immune systems. This is especially helpful in crowded living arrangement such as a nursing or retirement home. Americans young and old alike benefit greatly from vaccines. But medical staff must make sure that they are storing these vaccines carefully before use, so a medical refrigerator or freezer may be used.

Vaccine Storage

Vaccines are temperature sensitive, so a vaccine refrigerator freezer unit, or a medical refrigerator, will be necessary to store them. No ordinary freezer or cooler will do the job, most units are commercial ones designed to store ordinary food or drinks. Rather, the staff at a lab or hospital will make use of medical-grade freezers that are designed to more carefully control their inner temperatures, even when they are being repeatedly opened and closed during work. A medical refrigerator will store vaccines at the recommended 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and a freezer will have an internal temperature ranging from -58 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

When looking for wholesale freezer and cooler units, a lab or hospital’s staff should make sure that they are getting a unit that fits their needs, as some labs have more floor space or vaccines on hand than others. Some labs have ample floor space for a larger freezer or cooler unit, while smaller, more cramped labs may make use of a small-scale and lightweight unit that can sit on a shelf or a countertop. Some fridges may even be stored under the counter, to save even more space. A local medical wholesale supplier should have a variety of such units in their online catalog available for purchase.

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