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What to Know About Medical Freezers

A number of advances have benefited modern medicine, from the invention of vaccines to germ theory to sterilization techniques, among others. Vaccines, in particular, have been saving countless lives for over two centuries, and some viruses have been wiped out due to vaccination efforts. Vaccines are rather fragile and sensitive to temperature, however, so they should be stored in medical refrigerator freezers, vaccine freezers, and the like. Many medical sites will have a pharmacy freezer or a specialized medical refrigerator freezer on hand, and lab refrigerators may store vaccines as well, alongside tissue samples. These are probably not going to be found in the average retailer, but the staff at a hospital or a research lab can find medical refrigerator freezers for sale online from wholesale medical supply sellers. That, and some gently used medical refrigerator freezers can be found on the secondary market.

Vaccines Then and Now

The very concept of vaccines dates back to 1796, when the British scientist Edward Jenner developed what he called the “arm to arm” inoculation method against smallpox. He did this by extracting a tissue sample from a cowpox patient’s skin blisters, then transferring it to a second patient. This controlled exposure would train the second patient’s immune system against cowpox, smallpox, and related diseases, bolstering their immune system. This proved a success, and many more vaccines were developed and researched in the following years. By the 1940s, vaccines were being mass-produced for the first time, and they treated common diseases of the time such as smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus. By now, in the 21st century, vaccines can protect people from even more diseases, such as measles and Polio.

Who needs vaccines? Everyone does, but small children and babies in particular can and should be vaccinated to bolster their still-developing immune systems. When a baby is born, the parents may be given a schedule for bringing their child in for routine shots, and this can save many lives. In centuries past, many babies and children died of disease, but that is far from the case today. Meanwhile, middle-aged adults can get shots to update their immunity, and even the elderly need vaccines as well. A senior citizen’s immune system may be worn out from age, but vaccines can help prevent the spread of disease in crowded retirement homes. Every year, a community may in fact host flu shot drives, so people there may get immunity en masse.

Storage Solutions

It is clear that vaccines can save many lives, but only when stored correctly and at a low temperature. Ordinary freezers and fridges are not suitable, being designed for food. Such units may suffer wide variance in their internal temperature as their doors are opened, which would ruin vaccines inside. So, specialized medical refrigerator freezers can be ordered and used at a hospital or a research lab instead.

A medical-grade cooling unit will carefully maintain its internal temperature, even when its door is opened, and that is critical. Frozen vaccines, according to the CDC’s guidelines, must be stored at a temperature ranging from -58 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or -50 to -15 degrees Celsius. Other vaccines can be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or 5 degrees Celsius.

When the staff at a research lab or hospital wants to buy a new cooler unit, they can look online to find some models and compare them. What to look for? Size and storage capacity are important, since a large hospital may need to store a lot of vaccines all at once. A small research lab, by comparison, may have limited room and need a smaller unit. The buyer may buy a unit of the proper size, and clear up enough room on the premises for it. Some units are small enough to sit on a counter, such as a benchtop freezer for a small research lab. An “under the counter” medical freezer can save even more room, fitting under the counter like a dishwasher. The buyers can also find gently used models on the secondary market for a discounted price, but they may want to look over a used unit in person before purchasing it.

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