What to Know About Proper Vaccine Storage Methods

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The field of medicine has made some truly impressive strides in the last few centuries, and more lives than ever can be saved due to innovations like germ theory, microscopes, and vaccines. Vaccines in particular go a long way toward preventing the spread of deadly viruses, and many diseases today are practically unknown thanks to routine shots. Many studies confirm that countless lives are saved every year due to vaccination efforts. Still, these vaccines are fragile, and they need to be stored in a biomedical refrigerator or vaccine refrigerator freezer that can carefully regulate its own temperature. These biomedical refrigerators and pharmacy freezers can be found in the catalogs that wholesale medical suppliers provide, rather than at ordinary retail outlets. What is there to know about biomedical refrigerators and the safe storage of vaccines and tissue samples?

Vaccines and Their History

Vaccines are over 200 years old, and they were first pioneered in the late 1700s in England. In the year 1796, the British scientist Edward Jenner developed vaccines as we know them with the “arm to arm” inoculation method, designed to protect a patient from smallpox. He did this by extracting at issue sample from the skin blister of a cowpox patient, then transfer it to the arm of a second patient. By doing this, a doctor can train the second patient’s immune system to recognize and fight off disease such as cowpox and smallpox. This concept proved a success, and vaccines have been developed and used ever since. By the 1940s, vaccines had entered mass production for the first time, often geared to fight off diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, smallpox, and other common illnesses of the day. By now, in the 21st century, vaccines can protect people from even more diseases, including Polio and measles.

Who need vaccines? Everyone, young and old alike, should be inoculated against disease. Responsible parents will bring in their children and babies to the doctor’s office for safe and routine shots, and this can bolster the child’s developing immune system and help protect the child. This prevents the high child mortality rates of centuries past, when many youngsters died of disease. Meanwhile, older adults can get shots to keep them updated for flu season, and urgent care clinics might even host flu shot drives. Lastly, senior citizens can get vaccines to reinforce their age-worn immune systems, and this can help prevent the spread of disease in crowded retirement homes. Measles in particular is a virus that vaccines today often fight off, and statistics show that from the year 2000 to 2104, there was a 79% drop in annual measles-related deaths. In fact, the measles vaccine is estimated to have saved around 17.1 million lives since the year 2000.

Proper Storage Solutions for Vaccines

As mentioned earlier, the staff at a hospital or a research lab need specialized medical gear, such as biomedical refrigerators, to store vaccines and tissue samples properly. Ordinary, commercial fridges or freezers are not appropriate, since they are only designed to store food. These units may experience a wide change in temperature as their doors are opened, which would compromise any vaccines inside. Instead, specialized vaccine freezers and medical fridge units should be used, which are more capable of regulating their internal temperatures. In fact, the CDC has released guidelines for vaccine storage methods. Frozen vaccines should be stored at a temperature of -58 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is -50 to -15 degrees Celsius. Other vaccines, meanwhile, can be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, o9r 5 degrees Celsius.

These biomedical refrigerators come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes for any wholesaled customer. The largest are huge units that take up floor space, but can store hundreds of vaccines at once. The smallest units, by contrast, may be petite benchtop models or even under the counter models that save room (imagine a dishwasher). Buyers can find the right unit for their needs through catalogs that medical suppliers offer, and they can also explore the secondary market to find gently used models at a discount price. Buyers may want to look over a used unit before purchase, though, to be sure that it is in good shape and ready for use.

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