Then there are the refrigerators themselves.
In 2009, engineers at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle began designing off-grid refrigerators to use less infrastructural space for cold chains.
The result was Arctech – a barrel-sized super thermos intended for refrigeration of vaccines or other biological samples. Can set to 20 degrees centigrade. Daniel Lieberman, inventor of GHLab’s Architect, a nonprofit built by the Gates Foundation, says that if it contains 450 vials, they will stay cool for three to four weeks, while 750 vials can stay cold for about two weeks. As there is no electrical part in the device, it is broken: if someone can puncture the vacuum seal, it will be useless.
The device was first tested in 2014 when Ebola destroyed villages in West Africa. The vaccine, developed by Mark, requires refrigeration at -60 সেল C. When Arctek was deployed to the field in 2014, it played a role in vaccinating 8,000 people and helping to stop the Ebola outbreak.
Since then, 3,000 or more units have remained in countries across Africa and are used to preserve routine vaccines for measles, polio, chicken pox and hepatitis, Lieberman said. Various international organizations, such as UNICEF and Doctor Without Borders, buy architects for the countries they need. About 1,000 new units have been built to handle the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, said Shaukda Lee, general manager of the device, which is based in China. Lee said the new units would be shipped to several countries in South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
There is another experimental approach to development – this is to avoid the cold chain altogether, Weissman said. Some developers have dehydrated existing covid vaccines. The dehydration dose will stabilize at room temperature indefinitely, Weissman said, until it is reconstituted just before use. The drawback is that it makes vaccine production more difficult: dehydration adds additional processing, which significantly increases production costs. Still, Pfizer says it could be ready by 2022.
For mRNA vaccines, reliable room-temperature storage will be a game changer, eliminating the long-standing barrier to vaccines for everyone.
Fuller says: “Cold chains have always been a problem [the] The vaccine has been distributed, and it has only been extended to epidemics where it is important to vaccinate all corners of the globe as soon as possible.
This is a part of the story Epidemic technology project, Supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.