Vaccines need to be stored properly from the time of manufacture up to the time they are administered. Refrigeration failure can prove very costly. There are many reasons why clinical laboratories need to have sound refrigeration systems and adhere to good practices for vaccine storage
- Proper storage and handling of vaccines is necessary to succeed in immunization programs
- The potency of vaccines that are not stored at the right temperature can be low
- The need for revaccination leads to loss of patient confidence
- The prices of essential vaccines are spiraling and spoilage can prove very costly
- The need to conform to federally funded and state operated vaccines for children (VFC) programs
Several manufacturers provide laboratory refrigerators and freezers to store vaccines and other lab products. Lab personnel need to follow vaccine manufacturer specifications on proper storage temperatures to ensure that vaccines do not lose their potency.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends standalone freezers and refrigerators without freezers for vaccine storage. The refrigerator compartment of a combination refrigerator/freezer unit can be used in place of a stand-alone unit to store refrigerated vaccines and a separate standalone freezer to store frozen vaccines. The CDC recommends that freezer and refrigerator compartments must each have their own exterior door that seals properly and thermostat controls. The equipment must be able to maintain the required temperature range during the entire year. They must also be spacious enough to store the vaccine without overcrowding. All inactivated vaccines and live attenuated vaccines must be stored at the manufacturer-prescribed specific storage temperatures.
Leading lab equipment suppliers offer vaccine refrigeration equipment and help buyers choose the one best suited for their particular storage requirements. For clinical labs with space constraints that need a compact vaccine storage system that can fit on a countertop, Summit’s medical – 20°C all-freezer with reversible door and lock could provide the answer. This model operates at temperatures as low as – 20ºC and is ideal for vaccines such as such as FLU MIST and chicken pox. Its flat door liner complies with CDC guidelines for vaccine storage. Manual defrost operation and extra thick insulation ensures stable temperature. Other notable features that make this a reliable vaccine and sample storage solution include:
- Adjustable rear-mounted thermostat to prevent accidental adjustments
- Removable wire shelf for storage convenience
- One piece interior liner for easy clean-up
- Environmentally friendly design – 100% CFC free
- Factory-installed lock for security
While Summit refrigerators and freezers are ideal for use in labs and pharmacies, the company also offers units for homes, foodservice, commercial establishments, institutions, and upscale kitchens. Adding quality and function with full features and convenient size, these refrigerators and freezers are also designed to conserve energy and space.