We all know that vaccines should be stored in low controlled temperatures, which if not adhered to will result in the vaccines losing their potency and therefore become redundant. This is why it is paramount to store vaccines in purpose-built vaccine refrigerators.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find venues where domestic refrigerators are used to store vaccines. Before making a move towards using domestic refrigerators for vaccine storage, you should be aware that there are dangers associated with doing so:
Altered Temperature Ratings
Vaccines require an ideal temperature range of 2 to 8 ℃, and vaccine refrigerators are designed to maintain that temperature rating. Cyclic refrigerators have wide temperature fluctuations and heating cycles, which are satisfactory for their built purposes but unfit for vaccine storage. If the temperatures go below or above the desired rating, then the vaccine effectiveness is altered. You will be forced to throw away vaccines at a great cost to the business to avoid giving patients vaccines that will not help them.
Poor Temperature Recovery
Vaccine refrigerators are designed with high-quality insulation. They are fan forced and have triple glazed doors, which enhances temperature recovery when the door is opened. This ensures that the stored vaccines will never go below or above the desired temperature ratings. Most domestic refrigerators lack these features, and their temperature rating fluctuates every time you open their doors.
Vaccine refrigerators have an alarm control that goes up in case the temperature readings go above or below the recommended. Using these refrigerators helps you have full control of the vaccine temperatures. With the use of digital data loggers, these refrigerators are able to provide continuous temperature monitoring and alert you when it goes beyond the recommended reading.
Purpose-built vaccine refrigerators are built with no need for stacking drawers and hence have more space for storing vaccines. This is unlike domestic refrigerators, which require drawers and a door with ice/gel packs
All vaccine refrigerators are lockable which ensure maximum safety of the items stored.
Vaccine refrigerators can also be used to store other pharmaceutical products and sensitive medical products.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the use of purpose of built vaccine refrigerators for the right storage of vaccines. Failure to adhere to these instructions leads to the destruction of the vaccines rendering them impotent, and hence useless. Quality maintenance of vaccines is a shared responsibility of all handlers; from their production up to the time of their use. If one section of the supply chain misses their part; huge losses can be incurred.