Vaccines Have Saved Millions Of Lives Keeping Your Patients Safe With Proper Storage Techniques

Vaccinations are receiving a lot of discussion these past few years.

Flu-related hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise. Several diseases thought to have been mostly eradicated in the West are starting to crop up in the United States. The function of effective and properly stored vaccines has never been more essential than it is today. As a pharmacist it’s your job to make sure your lab freezer is always working properly. Failng to do so can cause a ripple effect that leaves entire communities in jeopardy.

The vaccine freezer is one of the medical industry’s most commonly used tools. How do you make sure you’re never compromising the quality of your vaccines?

The Origin Of Vaccines

It’s difficult to imagine a world without steady access to vaccines. They haven’t, however, been a staple of human history. For 300 years they’ve been saving human lives, with Edward Jenner developing what’s known as the ‘arm-to-arm’ inoculation against smallpox in the late 1700’s. This was a revolutionary vaccine that involved taking material from a blister of someone infected with cowpox and injecting it into another’s skin. Large-scale vaccine production would become possible in the late 1940’s, paving the way for what we know today.

Vaccines Developed Over The Years

We have vaccines for hundreds of diseases. The World Health Organizations, as well as the Measles and Rubella Initiative, estimates that at least 15 million lives have been saved by the measles vaccination since 2000. Another 2014 study found the U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention estimating vaccinations could prevent more than 20 million hospitalizations and 700,000 deaths among children. Some vaccinations only need to be taken once, while some need to be taken in succession. The flu vaccine is one that needs to be administered yearly.

The Rise Of Flu Complications

While the flu might not seem as extreme as measles or polio, it’s starting to see a rise in complications these past few years. The flu is more extreme than the common cold, with symptoms including a high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and muscle pain. Certain demographics, such as very young children and the elderly, have a higher risk of flu complications. The flu vaccine is updated on a yearly basis and needs to be updated in order to maintain immunity. The CDC has estimated as many as 700,000 flu-related hospitalizations, and 55,000 flu-related deaths, are seen every year.

Modern Vaccines And Our Future

Without vaccines the world would be a riskier place to live. Unfortunately, just 95% of children between the ages of 19 to 35 months have received the polio vaccine. It’s also estimated nearly 25 million children around the world do not have access to routine vaccine services. Pharmacists today have a complex job making sure their vaccine refrigerator freezer is always working around-the-clock. Even a slight dip in temperature or a forgotten lab freezer recording can compromise several cases of life-saving immunization.

Properly Storing Vaccines In Your Lab Freezer

Your undercounter medical refrigerator is one of your most reliable tools. According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, frozen vaccines need to be stored at temperature ranges of -58 degrees and five degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerated vaccines, however, need to be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Making sure your vaccines are stored properly in the vaccine freezer means storing them at ideal temperatures, recording these temperatures at the start of the workday, and checking the temperature again every time you access them.

Your vaccine freezer means the difference between safe communities and future hospitalizations. Keep your patients safe in 2019.

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