What Is a Medical Grade Refrigerator?

When working within the healthcare industry, it is likely that the administration of vaccines and other medical serums will need to be done on a regular basis. 

Although it is important to administer these vaccines to patients in the correct way for their safety, it is also equally important to store the vaccines correctly to ensure patient safety too. 

All healthcare practitioners will be aware that vaccines must be kept in specific temperature conditions from the moment of manufacture to the moment they are administered to the patient. This includes during transportation to healthcare facilities and whilst being stored in a medical practice. 

These temperature conditions are otherwise known as the cold-chain. This temperature ranges from +2oC to +8oC and are necessary to ensure vaccines remain potent and can be given to patients. 



When it comes to the storage of medical vaccines, it is important to note that they must not be stored in traditional household fridges alongside food and drink, but rather separately in a dedicated medical grade refrigerators

There are several reasons as to why a dedicated medical fridge must be used for vaccine storage, which we discuss in the following article. 

Accurate Temperature Control

As already discussed above, most medicines and vaccines must be stored within a temperature range of +2oand +8oin order to maintain the cold-chain.

Where standard commercial fridges can easily fluctuate in temperature, medical fridges are designed to accurately and reliably maintain temperatures within this small temperature range. 

To further help in monitoring these temperatures, medical fridges are usually fitted with state-of-the-art thermometers that can record the internal temperature of the medical fridge as well as the vaccines inside it. 

Standard fridges simply cannot provide such controlled temperatures, nor do their thermometers provide the levels of accuracy that medical grade refrigerators offer.

Sensitive Alarm Fittings

Dedicated medical fridges also come with highly sensitive alarms that sound if the internal temperature of the medical refrigerator falls outside of its required range. 

The alarm helps to alert healthcare professionals to the fluctuation in temperature and allows them to respond instantly to rectify the problem and protect the medicines. 

This feature is vital as it helps to ensure that vaccines do not fall out of their cold-chain conditions, and risk becoming damaged and spoiled. 

While it is possible for the cold-chain to be broken and for vaccines to still be safe to use, it is much better for them to remain in the cold-chain at all times.

Only medical grade refrigerators offer these alarms which is why healthcare practices and practitioners across the UK are required to use them.

Security Features

Medicines and vaccines are expensive and as a result can be subject to theft. For this reason, medical fridges come with security measures such as door locks to help prevent unauthorised access.

This not only helps to prevent theft, but also ensures that the medical fridge is not opened accidentally by a healthcare practitioner or someone else, and vaccines risk falling out of the cold-chain.

While a standard fridge and a medical grade fridge may seem similar at first glance, in reality they are very different products, and only a dedicated medical fridge should be used to store vaccines safely and securely.

Glass Door and Solid Door Options

Medical grade refrigerators also come with additional features that can further assist healthcare practitioners in their work, such as their design. Medical fridges come in both glass door and solid door designs.

Glass Door

Glass door medical fridges allow practitioners to easily see inside the fridge and determine the vaccines and medicines that are inside and the level of stock they have.

Having a glass door medical fridge means that it does not need to be opened unnecessarily whilst locating stock, which in turn helps in maintaining the cold-chain temperature range. 

Solid Door

Alternatively, medical fridges can also be purchased with a solid door. Solid door medical fridges have the added advantage of providing additional security, as intruders cannot see what it is inside. Although medical fridges come with security features installed as standard, this design provides an extra layer of protection for peace of mind. 

Get in Touch

As you can see, there are many features that make a medical fridge different to a standard household fridge. These differences in a medical fridge are what help to keep vaccines working effectively, and ensure that they are safe to administer to patients. 


If you like to talk to one of our CoolMed team about our medical fridges, or any of our other services, please get in touch with us here