•The vehicle provides almost a day’s autonomy, in the absence of any power supply.
•The successful rollout of immunisation programmes depends on the quality of the vaccine supply chain and the ability to provide a cold chain until the last mile.
A firm dealing in the vaccine cold chain industry has announced plans to roll out refrigerated vehicle or vaccine and cold specimen transportation in Africa.
The technology will facilitate the safe delivery of vaccines to remote areas in their right temperature, the company said.
Cold chain dealer, B Medical Systems, is rolling out the system in partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation.
The Innovation has received a Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) prequalification from the World Health Organization (WHO) and can reliably transport vaccines or any other specimens in a 2-8 °C temperature range.
It is expected to solve the perennial challenge of vaccines wastage and vial breakage in many countries caused by the lack of a reliable end-to-end cold chain movement of vaccines especially to remote areas in their right temperature.
The successful rollout of immunisation programmes depends on the quality of the vaccine supply chain and the ability to provide a cold chain until the last mile.
However, with several health centres located in extremely remote, rural, hostile terrains with minimal road infrastructure, delivering an end-to-end cold chain can be challenging.
The product brings together the legacy and expertise of Toyota Tsusho Corporation and B Medical Systems in the field of automobiles and vaccine cold chain, respectively.
The WHO prequalifies products and devices so that member states and UN purchasing agencies are assured of their suitability for use in immunization programmes.
“The refrigerated vaccine vehicle can easily travel through rough terrains and narrow roads delivering vaccines even to the most remote health posts, thereby ensuring an effective last-mile vaccine cold chain delivery," said Luc Provost, CEO of B Medical Systems, said in a statement.
He said the design ensures that none of the vials are broken during the delivery process, eliminating vaccine wastage, which is otherwise common in refrigerated trucks.
Provost added that company is now in talks with various countries in Africa with a view to introducing this technology to their markets.
“This solution can now be used under the international framework of Covax, which seeks to distribute vaccines for Covid-19 fairly to developing countries, and its use as a means of transportation for Covid-19 vaccines is also expected. The companies have started the manufacturing of the refrigerated vehicles and expect to ship the first batch in the coming weeks,” he added.
The refrigerated vehicle has a B Medical Systems vaccine refrigerator with a storage capacity of 396L incorporated into a Toyota Land Cruiser 78.
The refrigerator is powered via the vehicle while in motion and can also be powered by an external regular electric supply when parked. The vehicle provides almost a day’s autonomy, in the absence of any power supply.
The company's recent projects include the Covid-19 vaccine cold chain projects in Luxembourg, France, Germany, Indonesia, USA, Mexico, etc.