The importance of storing vaccines in Pharmacy Fridges
In western society we are incredibly lucky to have access to vaccines to protect us and our families from a variety of different illnesses and diseases. It is as a result of many of our vaccination programs that many diseases are now virtually unheard of such as Smallpox. Of course, when vaccination numbers decrease these, sometimes fatal, illnesses have the ability to resurface. There has been much controversy over the last 10 years surrounding the MMR vaccination which has lead to an increase in the number of measles cases in the country. If you are concerned about any of the vaccines that are routinely offered to your children at various ages, you should always speak to your GP to get the appropriate advice.
If you have ever visited the nurse or perhaps a pharmacist to have your annual flu vaccine or for travel related jabs you will have seen them remove the vial from dedicated Pharmacy Fridges from Fridge Freezer Direct or similar companies. There is a very good reason as to why these types of vaccines are stored in a fridge ideally between a temperature of 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. The biological makeup of the liquid included in the vaccine requires it to be carefully handled and stored as if allowed to reach temperatures that are either too hot or too cold the efficiency of the vaccine can be severely compromised, and in some cases destroyed completely. When this happens, it can result in an inadequate immune response in the recipient, which is the main reason why the vaccines are given in the first place. For this reason, vaccines are issued from the manufacturers in cooled containers and carried in cold storage vans to the doctor’s surgery or pharmacist. Upon their arrival they are then placed in the Pharmacy Fridges. Along every step of the way the temperatures are regularly monitored, and will continue to be checked in the pharmacy.
The fridge units used by medical practitioners are dedicated ones that are not used to store any other items. This helps to prevent the temperatures from fluctuating too much as well as reducing the risk of contamination. As more and more pharmacies start to take a front line role in the vaccinations against seasonal flu, pneumonia and shingles, in order to relieve some of the pressure on our already stretched GP services, the need for medical fridges will also continue to increase.