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  • Choosing the Correct Cold Storage for your Vaccines and Specimens

    Choosing the Correct Cold Storage for your Vaccines and Specimens

    Keeping a safe and reliable lab while eradicating many vaccine-preventable illnesses requires a specific refrigerator/freezer. If you are unsure of the appropriate freezer/refrigeration storage, you have come to the right place. Our technical expertise and thorough research is intended to help guide you in your decision.

    First, understand the equipment. Storage and handling errors happen frequently and can be avoided with the use of proper equipment. This equipment should be assembled, maintained, and repaired appropriately. Failure to store and handle samples properly will result in many issues for your lab. These include financial loss, a lack of trust in labs and health providers, and inadequate protection and prevention against such illnesses.

    When choosing cold storage for labs, it is recommended to do research. This research needs to include which features are required, which CDC guidelines need to be met, and which size unit will fit into your daily lab responsibilities. One important question to keep in mind is: What is the difference between a purpose-built and a common household unit

    Purpose-Built Units

    With the CDC recommendations, it is crucial to have a purpose-built or pharmaceutical-grade unit designed to store your vaccine and specimens. These units can be compact, under-the-counter style, or large. With a specifically designed unit, you will receive all the appropriate performance features. These features include:

    Microprocessor Controller with Digital Temperature Display to provide your lab with precise temperature control to meet all standards and regulate all samples with live sample-simulated temperature.

    Superior Insulation to regulate all temperatures. Typically, up to 50% more insulation than domestic units.

    Forced Draft Circulation to provide required temperature uniformity and recovery after door openings.

    Temperature Alarms and Door Locks for visual and audible for lab safety.

    Probe Access Ports for digital data loggers or central building monitoring system.

    Automatic Cycle-Defrost design to prevent temperature spikes.

    Shelving Systems to keep different items stored in the unit organized, easy to locate, and proper placement for air circulation.

    Common Household Units

    The household, dormitory, or bar-style units may seem acceptable for your vaccine and specimen needs, but will not pass all guidelines for cold storage. These units may not be equipped with the correct features to keep lab samples and specimens accurately monitored and safe.

    According to the CDC, typical household units have a single exterior door and an evaporator plate/cooling coil, usually located in an ice maker/freezer compartment. These units pose a significant risk of freezing vaccines, even when used for temporary storage.

    It is also important to have correctly sealed doors on all units. A door that is not sealed properly or left open unnecessarily not only affects the temperature in a unit, it also exposes vaccines to light, which can reduce potency.

    Most household units are not equipped with temperature alarms. These alarms are crucial to keeping your samples, specimens, or vaccines regulated and secure.

    Household-grade units could be acceptable to pharmaceutical-grade, purpose-built cold storage. As the name alludes, most of the common units are strictly home use and designed for that purpose.

    Purpose-Built Units at The Lab Depot

    Norlake Thermo Scientific ABS

    Making the Right Choice for your Lab

    It is essential to store vaccines, specimens, and samples under proper conditions and implement the best practices and recommendations. Your research, testing, and cold storage is critical for the well being of others and prevention of many illnesses. It is key to choose a manufacturer that meets all guidelines, including VFC and CDC, for its cold storage units.



    For any questions and recommendations on appropriate freezer or refrigerator storage, talk to our team.

    Call us at 1.800.733.2522 or email us

    For all CDC recommendations, visit cdc.gov

    For more information on vaccine storage, reference the CDC Toolkit.

    References also include: American Biotech Supply

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  • Ohaus Guardian Series
    Ohaus Guardian Series
    The NEW Ohaus Technology is uniquely designed into each of the Guardian Hotplate Stirrers. These Hot Plate Stirrers combine durability and affordability while keeping your lab new and modern. The "Smart" features include SmartLink, SmartPresence, SmartHeat, SafetyHeat, SmartRate, and SmartHousing.
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