In a bid to solve the perennial challenge of vaccines wastage 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, a global leader in the vaccine cold chain industry, B Medical Systems, has announced plans to roll out an in-transit temperature control technology for vaccine and cold specimen transportation in Africa.
The technology which was recently unveiled for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines will facilitate the safe delivery of vaccines to remote areas in their right temperature.
The innovation, the first of its kind in the industry, has received a Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) pre-qualification from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and can reliably transport vaccines or any other specimens in a 2-8 °C temperature range.
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 Luxembourg based healthcare company has partnered with Toyota Tsusho Corporation to create a refrigerated vaccine transport vehicle to facilitate movement for the vaccines in a safe environment.
The WHO pre-qualifies products and devices so that member states and UN purchasing agencies are assured of their suitability for use in immunisation programmes.
Countries across the world can now procure this solution for the reliable transportation of vaccines.
“Last mile has always been the weakest link in the vaccine cold chain. In several regions across the world, the last mile health centres are in remote areas that are difficult to access due to the terrain and infrastructure. We are extremely excited to bring such a solution to the market along with Toyota”, CEO of B Medical Systems, Mr. Luc Provost said.
Provost explained further that 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.
He said further that the design of the solution also ensures that none of the vials are broken during the delivery process, eliminating vaccine wastage, which is otherwise common in refrigerated trucks.
“We are very happy that the product received the PQS pre-qualification. The combined solution has the power to revolutionise the way vaccines are delivered until the last mile”, he noted.
Provost added that the company is now in talks with various countries in Africa with a view to introducing this technology to their markets.
“We see this technology as a good platform for the international framework of COVAX, co-managed by Vaccine Alliance GAVI and managing the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Nigeria, 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 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 vaccine 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.
This solution also has temperature loggers that provide an overview of the storage conditions. 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.
B Medical Systems has been consistently bringing to the market solutions that can solve the problems faced by healthcare professionals around the world when it comes to the storage and transport of vaccines.
The company has to its credit several innovative solutions like, amongst others, the Health Center Kit, Remote Temperature Monitoring Devices or a solar direct drive refrigerator with autonomy of 30 days.
B Medical Systems is a global leader in the vaccine cold chain and has a legacy of more than 40 years.
The company manufactures medical-grade vaccine refrigerators, laboratory freezers, ultra-low freezers, and transport boxes that can store and transport any vaccine in the temperature range of -86 °C to 8 °C. B Medical Systems has been working closely with governments across the world to strengthen their national immunisation programmes, medical refrigeration, and blood cold chain.
More recently, B Medical Systems has been working with governments across the world for the effective and efficient rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Its recent projects include the COVID-19 vaccine cold chain projects in across 50+ countries across the world, including Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, France, Germany, UK, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Italy, USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal, Indonesia etc.