Commercial Refrigeration Specialists
Vaccines provide protection, but only if they are stored properly. Just like milk, they can spoil if they are not placed in appropriate refrigeration before use. It is why commercial refrigeration specialists are part of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution program to ensure that the correct refrigeration, freezers and cold rooms are available and functioning to protect the vaccine. Equally important is having the refrigeration technician on the Sunshine Coast who is experienced in repairs and maintenance.
Why Vaccines Need Cold Storage in Cold Rooms and Freezers?
A vaccine works by alerting your body’s immune system to the presence of a new virus such as COVID-19. The immune system creates antibodies which are available if they should contract the virus. The result is that the immune system is ready and destroys the virus in the early stages.
The key element in the vaccine is messenger RNA particles or mRNA that carry the instructions to the body’s immune system. However, mRNA is unstable and will break down unless stored in cold temperatures. When the vaccine is ready for use, it is removed from the cold room or freezer where it can exist intact for a short time before being injected into your body.
Different vaccines have different refrigeration requirements which is one of the complicating factors in its distribution. In terms of the COVID-19 vaccines that are available, Pfizer requires a cold storage at -70 degrees Celsius, although an updated version can be stored at – 25 degrees for up to two weeks. To maintain such cold temperatures from where the vaccines are created to the distribution centres, a “cold chain” must be developed.
A cold chain ensures that as the vaccine travels from its origination to its destination that it always stays in the correct environment. The challenges of a genuine cold chain are considerable as the vaccine is moved from different modes of transportation. From airplane or ship to trains and trucks, the vaccine typically must switch modes of transportation at least twice and usually three, four, or more times before it can arrive at its destination.
The cold chain has been in existence since the 1960s and has evolved over the years. But it is also quite expensive and problematic in countries that cannot afford to maintain such a system. Put simply, the colder the temperature requirements for the vaccine, the more expensive the refrigeration and freezer units will be.
Cold Chain on the Sunshine Coast
The accepted cold chain infrastructure is available in Australia and on the Sunshine Coast, but as typical with developed countries it has limitations in which the new COVID-19 vaccines have challenged. This means purchasing and installing new refrigeration, cold rooms or freezers, adding new features, and establishing precise protocols to ensure that the vaccines are transported without losing their potency.
Information tracking stickers attached to each vial ensures that they stay at the right temperatures. As new vaccines and upgrades to existing vaccines are created, the temperature requirements become less strict. The result is that suppliers and distributors of the vaccine learn new methods and use different equipment that results in faster, less expensive transportation and suitable storage requirements.
Appropriate vaccine distribution requires reliable refrigeration, cold rooms and freezers to protect the product when stored. It is why commercial refrigeration specialists and experienced refrigeration mechanics are used to ensure the proper function and reliability of such units for distributions centers across Sunshine Coast.
Contact Best Refrigeration with all the Commercial Refrigeration queries