The Danger of Sunlight: UV Protection for Vaccines
Sunlight contains UV radiation, which is a type of light that can cause damage to cells in animals and humans. You’ve probably felt the effects before in the form of sunburn. UV rays are very good at killing bacteria as well, and is concentrated in the form of UV sterilizers for practical use. Unfortunately, exposure to sunlight and UV radiation can also kill vaccines and render them ineffective. However, there are ways we can help prevent our vaccines from dying due to exposure to sunlight, in the bottles as well as in syringes.
Keeping Vaccine Bottles Safe
Bottles of vaccines are sensitive to sunlight, and while a whole bottle of vaccine will not be ruined by being exposed to a little sunlight, it will reduce the potency of the product. Store vaccine bottles in a cool, dark place when not in use.
To keep vaccine bottles away from sunlight after they are in the cooler, keep the cooler lid closed as much as possible. Keep extra bottles in the right-hand compartment, or store them under the tray in your vaccine cooler, out of the way and protected from the sunlight. Minimize the amount of times opening and closing the lid- not only to keep it dark, but also for temperature regulation.
Keeping Mixed Vaccine in Syringes Safe
Repeater syringes with amber-colored barrels also help to block harmful UV rays from your vaccine. While this helps block some UV rays, it still isn’t a good idea to leave your syringes in the sun. Keep them safe by holstering them in the syringe holders in your CattleVacBox while not in use. The CattleVacBox has cone-shaped holsters reaching into the lid, which provide an extra level of protection to ensure no sunlight can reach inside.
HOW DOES UV LIGHT KILL LIVESTOCK VACCINES?
UV light damages the DNA inside of cells. This can be good, such as killing mold or bacterial growth (think UV sterilizers), or bad (such as causing sunburn and killing the cells in vaccine). If the cells in vaccine are exposed to sunlight long enough, the DNA damage can kill the vaccine, and dead vaccinations don’t help your cattle! This is why it is important to keep your vaccine in a dark place.
The most effective way to keep your vaccines safe from sunlight and UV rays is to keep your vaccine syringes and bottles in a cooler that is specially designed to store vaccines beside the chute. Still curious about keeping your vaccines safe? Click here for an article from Dr. Melissa Hake, DVM!