View Full Version : Question about vaccine storage temperatures and effects?

08-13-2015, 01:54 PM
Hello everyone :)

My query is rather obscure so a big thank you to anyone who has a clue!

If someone swallowed a vial of a vaccine to avoid detection, would they still be able to examine the vaccine's components after it left their body? Which end doesn't matter. Would a person's body temperature, alter or destroy the vaccine to make it useless?I read on the CDC that if they are not stored at the right temperature, the vaccine can lose its potency but I'm not sure if that means it would be useless to examine.

King Neptune
08-13-2015, 05:17 PM
You're right that that doesn't mean that it couldn't be detected. At body temperature many vaccines would deteriorate, but some would not be harmed at all. For example, the original vaccine for smallpox was kept at room temperature. Polio vaccine is stable over a wide temperature range. If you specify the target of the vaccine, then you shouldlook up what temperature range it can tolerate.

08-13-2015, 05:28 PM
Yes, most vaccines need to be refrigerated, though it can depend...

The potency of a vaccine also depends on several other factors, such as what kind of vaccine it is--killed, live, attenuated (modified-live) etc; the latter may have to be reconstituted and then have a short period when you have to actually give the vaccine regardless of temperature...

When you say "a vial" is he just swallowing the whole vial or what? What needs to be detected when examining components? If he swallowed the whole vial the label might still be intact, nicely listing the components :p

08-14-2015, 12:09 AM
That is exactly what I wanted to hear. Thanks buzhidao and King Neptune, it's much appreciated

08-14-2015, 12:30 AM
Not being stored at the correct temperature will degrade the effectiveness of some vaccines pretty sharply. In a legitimate medical environment, if a vaccine is accidentally stored at the wrong temperature it would not then be used on patients as there is a good chance it will no longer be effective. Typical recommended storage temperatures are +2 to +8 degrees Celsius, depending on the vaccine. It is unlikely that a vaccine of this type will retain its potency for any length of time in the environment you suggest. But if it's a made-up vaccine then, of course, you can make up your own temperature range!

08-15-2015, 12:10 AM
Thanks andyE