Reliable Cold Chain Services for Safe Vaccinations

Luc Provost, CEO, B Medical Systems

Many pharmaceutical products like serums, vaccines, etc., are temperature sensitive and need special handling once manufactured. Vaccines require being stored within the temperature range specified by manufacturers to ensure their efficacy.

As many vaccines are heat and/or light-sensitive, they need specialist storage and transportation solutions to guarantee their viability. Storing and shipping biologicals has always been a challenge, but technological advances in the medical industry have enabled the creation of reliable refrigeration systems which nowadays make part of what is called the “cold chain”.

A network of refrigerators, freezers, ultra-low freezers, and transport boxes make up this vital network of refrigeration equipment of which the goal is to keep biologicals such as vaccines always safe and at the correct temperatures during the distribution process, from the point of manufactory until the products’ use.

Because of the importance of the cold chain, there is the requirement for a system which can monitor the overall cold chain and its service delivery points. This system needs to produce actionable data and present it to designated individuals at every level of the cold chain.
Healthcare organisations and vaccine manufacturers include strict guidelines to help healthcare workers ensure that vaccines do not lose their potency during their distribution process. These steps include:-

  • Developing a policy for the safe storage of vaccines; also have a designated individual who will be responsible for maintaining the cold chain during the storage and transport of the doses
  • Reviewing humidity readings and storage temperatures regularly to ensure vaccines have been stored correctly. This is to avoid unwanted temperature excursions that could endanger the potency of the vaccines before they are given to patients
  • Developing response procedures in case of temperature excursions, such as temporarily transferring the contents to another medical refrigerator or freezer.

B Medical Systems S.a r.l, a Luxembourg-based medical device manufacturing company and leader in the medical cold chain, offers a diverse range of medical refrigeration products to ensure that vaccines are safe throughout all the transport and storage stages until administration. Products in the company’s vaccine cold chain portfolio include:

  • Laboratory and Pharmacy Refrigerators
  • Solar Direct Drive Vaccine Refrigerators
  • Vaccine Refrigerators
  • Vaccine Freezers
  • Vaccine Transport Boxes
  • Ultra-Low Freezers
  • Remote Monitoring Temperature Devices

Ultra-low freezers

Used for the safe storage of vaccines, human cells, DNA, tissues, and other laboratory  samples, the ultra-low freezers can reach ultra-low temperatures ranging from -86°C to -20°C.  These models are also used for the safe storage of highly temperature-sensitive vaccines and ensure their safety with a high-performing cooling system which provides temperature uniformity and reliability. Moreover, they also feature great energy efficiency driven by the use of green gases as refrigerants and can be equipped with a 24/7 real-time Remote Temperature Monitoring Device. B Medical Systems’ Ultra-Low Freezers are class II(a) medical devices (EU MDR/FDA).

Solar Direct Drive Vaccine Refrigerators & Freezers

These refrigerators & freezers are used to safely store vaccines by drawing power from solar panels. These products are ideal for use in remote areas which lack reliable electricity or that experience frequent and prolonged power outages. B Medical Systems’ Solar Direct Drive solutions include several vaccine refrigerators and freezers directly connected to the solar panels that work without the use of batteries. These solutions present a reliable cold chain for vaccines even in the most remote areas.

Vaccine Refrigerators and Freezers

B Medical Systems’ Vaccine Refrigerators and Freezers incorporate refrigeration solutions which can be powered by AC mains for optimal adaptation to power constraints in health centers. Moreover, some of the products are equipped with voltage stabilisers which protect the units from possible voltage spikes due to unstable electricity supplies, ensuring that the cold chain equipment, and therefore also the vaccines and medicines contained within it, will always be safe.

Finally, this product line also features the TCW3000AC, a multimode Vaccine Refrigerator/ Freezer or Ice-Pack Freezer. This model is ideal to provide the flexibility to store vaccines with different temperature profiles, or to reliably freeze icepacks ahead of their use in transport boxes for the safe delivery of doses until the last mile.

Vaccine transport boxes

B Medical Systems’ Vaccine Transport Boxes are used for the safe transport of vaccines or medicines from storage centers to vaccination sites. They offer high shock resistance, excellent temperature insulation, user-friendly design and long-term durability. They can also be equipped with Phase Change Materials (PCMs) or even dry ice, to allow them to reach the storage temperatures required by most vaccines.

Remote Temperature Monitoring Device (RTMD)

The RTMD is used for the real-time temperature monitoring of the cold chain equipment’s status: inner storage temperature and exterior ambient temperature, lid openings, and GPS positions of any model they are connected to can be remotely monitored by authorised personnel to ensure that the equipment and the medical products stored inside are always safe.

Laboratory and Pharmacy Refrigerators

Laboratory and Pharmacy Refrigerators are ideal to store vaccines at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C in healthcare institutions such as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and pharmacies. They offer accurate and uniform cooling systems which provide the best levels of reliability. B Medical Systems offers a wide variety of models, including undercounter refrigerators and laboratory refrigerator/freezer combo units.

Author Bio

Luc Provost

Luc Provost, CEO of B Medical Systems, has over 20 years of experience in the medical refrigeration field and the vaccine cold chain. Under his leadership, B Medical Systems has been instrumental in helping to vaccinate millions of people by installing more than 500.000 products in over 130 countries around the world. The company is an expert in providing reliable and safe storage and transport solutions for vaccines, medicines, samples and more.

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