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Vaccine cold chain monitor cards, Switzerland, 1994

Vaccines need to be kept below certain temperatures to remain effective. To prevent them from spoiling when being transported over long distances and in hot climates, a ‘cold chain’ system is established. This refers to the various means by which the vaccine is kept cool – from when it leaves the laboratory to when it is needed for use. These cards are used to monitor the process and ensure that the cold chain is maintained. They irreversibly change colour if the vaccines are exposed to temperatures above the safe limit of 10ºC. Made by Berlinger & Co. AG, these cards were was approved for use in the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) run by UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Fund) and the WHO (World Health Organisation). When the programme was launched in 1974, fewer than five per cent of children were vaccinated. Today that figure is eighty per cent.

Object number:

1994-146

 

Glossary:

Glossary: vaccination

The introduction of vaccine into the body for the purpose of inducing immunity. Coined originally to apply to the injection of smallpox vaccine, the term has come to mean any immunising procedure in which vaccine is injected.

Glossary: measles

Disease caused by a virus most commonly found in children. Measles is spread through airborne fluids. In roughly the last 150 years, measles has been estimated to have killed 200 million people worldwide.

Glossary: vaccine

A substance given to humans or animals to improve immunity from disease. A vaccine can sometimes contain a small amount of bacteria that is designed to stimulate the body's reaction to that particular disease. The first vaccine was developed in 1796 by Edward Jenner to prevent smallpox.

Glossary: thermometer

Instruments for measuring temperature by utilizing the variation of the physical properties of substances according to their thermal states..