Knowing What to Look For in a Medical Freezer


Vaccines rank highly among medical inventions of the last few centuries, and ever since the late 1700s, vaccines have been saving many millions of lives around the world. Today, vaccines and shot are routine for children, adults, and babies alike, and they can protect a patient from a variety of deadly viruses and contagions. Still, these vaccines are somewhat fragile and sensitive to temperature, so a hospital’s staff will have vaccine refrigerator freezers, pharmaceutical grade refrigerators, and undercounter medical refrigerators on site to store those vaccines properly. Smaller, undercounter medical refrigerators are especially useful for small research labs with limited room on their premises. What is there to know about vaccines then and now, and when should a buyer look for wholesale undercounter medical refrigerator units? Or perhaps they should find a larger freezer instead?

The History of Vaccines

Vaccines as we know them date back quite far, to the late 1700s. In the year 1796, a British scientist named Edward Jenner developed what he named the “arm to arm” inoculation method against smallpox, and he did this by extracting a tissue sample from the arm blister of a cowpox patient and injected it into the skin of a second patient. In this manner, the second patient’s immune system would be trained to recognize and fight off cowpox and smallpox, and this method proved to be a success. In the decades following, many more vaccines were developed and used, and by the 1940s, vaccines had entered mass production for the first time. Often, these vaccines were geared to fight common diseases of the time, such as smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. And now, in the 21st century, vaccines can handle an even wider variety of diseases, such as polio and measles.

Everyone, young and old, should and often do receive these vaccines and shots. It is especially important for children and babies to receive routine shots, to bolster their developing immune system and protect them from disease. Responsible parents will bring their youngsters to the doctor’s office regularly for these safe, routine shots. In centuries past, many babies and children died of disease, but modern vaccines have indeed made that a thing of the past. Adults, meanwhile, may receive shots to update their immune systems, and it is also important for the elderly to get shots to improve their age-worn immune systems. Doing this can help prevent the spread of disease in crowded retirement homes, for example. And of course, many lives are saved this way around the world, among both the young and old. Polio and smallpox have been declared extinct, and from 2000 to 2014, the rate of measles-related deaths decreased by an impressive 79%.

Storage Solutions for Vaccines

As mentioned earlier, these vaccines, while powerful and important, are delicate and thus need proper storage at a hospital or research lab. That means using anything from petite undercounter medical refrigerators to huge pharmaceutical freezers that can hold many vaccines at once. It should be noted, however, that commercial, ordinary freezers and fridges are not sufficient, since they are designed to hold food rather than medical items. Their internal temperatures change far too much when their doors are opened, but medical grade freezers and coolers are designed to more carefully regulate their internal temperatures. Based on the CDC’s guidelines, a freezer unit for frozen vaccines should have a temperature of -58 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or -50 to -15 degrees Celsius. Other vaccine types don’t need to be frozen, and they can be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) in medical fridges.

The staff at a hospital or research lab can look up these medical grade cooler units with the secondary market, as well as the online catalogs of medical suppliers. Some of these undercounter medical refrigerators or standalone freezers may be larger than others, and some may be new, or used. The staff at a large hospital may purchase a large freezer unit, and this can store many vaccines at once for a busy flu season. By contrast, a small research lab’s staff may consider a benchtop freezer or undercounter medical refrigerator models to save room.

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