Modern medicine has based on many remarkable breakthroughs, and hospitals and research labs across the United States are at the forefront of these innovations. Doctors and research personnel need the right hardware for the job, and this includes the mundane act of finding storage space. No ordinary cabinet or picnic cooler will do; delicate items such as lab samples and vaccines must be stored in specialized units that can carefully control the temperature inside, and a medical refrigerator freezer unit will do the job just fine. Vaccine storage refrigerators and vaccine freezers can hold many vaccines at once, and they vary in size and shape. Some medical refrigerator freezers are small units that can be placed on a shelf, while other medical refrigerator freezers are large units who need dedicated floor space. A large and busy hospital, for example, may need a few large medical refrigerator freezers and medical grade refrigerators to store all the vaccines for its patients. What is the history and success rate of vaccines?
Vaccines Then and Now
The concept of vaccines goes back further than some people may realize. Back in 1796, a man named Edward Jenner developed what he called the “arm to arm” inoculation method. He innovated these early vaccines by drawing a tissue sample from the blister of someone infected with cowpox, then injected it into another patient. In this way, the patient’s immune system was trained to fight smallpox, and this and later vaccines helped to control the spread of deadly viruses. The medical technology of vaccines improved over the years, and by the 1940s, vaccines were being produced in large quantities for the first time. Vaccines were being primarily for whooping cough, tetanus, smallpox, and Diphtheria, and by now, vaccines have grown to cover an even wider swath of diseases. Now, rubella, measles, and polio can also be prevented with modern vaccines, and many children and adults alike receive these vital injections.
Vaccines have been widely proven to save many lives and contain the spread of dangerous illnesses. For example, from 2000 to 2014, total deaths from measles dropped from 546,000 down to 114,900, a remarkable 79% decrease in the span of just 14 years. Similarly, the World Health Organizations, along with the Measles and Rubella Initiative, have estimated that around 17.1 million lives have been saved due to the measles vaccine. That’s more than the population of some entire American states. Overall, vaccines have been shown to prevent around 2.5 million deaths every year.
It is well known that children receive these vaccines to prepare their immune systems, but adults need them, too. Over time, an adult’s vaccines may wear out and become outdated, so they can get newer vaccines to stay healthy. The elderly are also advised to stay on top of their inoculations, since senior citizens have weakened immune systems and may spread disease fast in densely populated nursing homes.
Storage of Vaccines
Vaccines cannot simply be left laying around on countertops at a research lab or a hospital. Rather, on-site staff will buy and use the correct storage units to keep them secure and safe, but not just any cooler will do. Regular coolers and freezers are meant for food, and these units have unacceptably wide ranges of temperatures when they are opened and closed. Instead, a lab or hospital’s staff can invest in specialized medical cooling units with have better temperature control inside of them. Such units can be found in wholesale markets, and these units may vary in size and internal temperature.
Lab and hospital staff should know what to look for. Some units are fridges, and certain vaccines can be stored in them. But in other cases, a cooling unit is a freezer, and other vaccines need a lower storage temperature. A lab might even have both freezers and fridges to suit the needs of various vaccines found on-site. What is more, some units are larger and heavier than others, and have different storage capacities. A too-small unit can’t hold everything that a lab staff needs to put away, and a too-large unit is a waste of money and takes up too much room. Or, the staff may buy an under-counter unit to save some room.