Cold storage for mass vaccination bigger challenge in COVID struggle

Cold storage for mass vaccination bigger challenge in COVID struggle
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NEW DELHI: From factory to a syringe, coronavirus vaccine would need non-stop sterile refrigeration to stay potent and safe. Vaccines like that of Oxford, Pfizer, Moderna are the most promising candidates to be the most effective vaccine against COVID-19. Maintaining the cold chain for coronavirus vaccines is set to be the next biggest challenge. Different COVID-19 vaccines would require different temperatures and different handling mechanisms and process in getting the shots delivered safely to different countries and then to hospitals and pharmacies.

Without a proper cold chain facility, vaccines face the risk of being exposed to temperatures outside the recommended range which will eventually result in the reduction of its potency and wastage of the vaccine. Organisations like World Bank and United Nation’s Children Fund have been trying to take strides in equipping developing and underdeveloped countries to enable them in bringing COVID-19 under control with effective immunization campaign. However, investments in the infrastructure of storage facilities have not been mobilized at the same pace in which COVID-19 vaccine development is taking place. Much of the areas in India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa lack the refrigeration to administer an effective vaccination programme.  

Experts fear that poor people around the world who were among the hardest hit by the pandemic due to lack of appropriate medical infrastructure are also likely to be the last to recover from it.

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