The Importance of the Cold Chain
When suppliers move vaccines from point A to point B, it’s essential that they’re kept at the correct temperature, generally between 35 to 45ºF. In countries like the U.S., maintaining a critical mass of refrigerated trucks generally does not pose a major obstacle. In developing countries, on the other hand, keeping vaccines cool while they’re transported and stored is no easy feat. Yet it’s an essential one: if the vaccines get too hot or too cold during any part of their journey, they lose their efficacy, and the entire batch is rendered useless.
Thankfully, as the immunization supply chain becomes more sophisticated, it is becoming easier to transport vaccines safely to even the most remote regions. From carefully designed cold packs to improved insulation, technological innovations are allowing more vaccines to reach their destinations in useable condition. While increased demand for new vaccinations poses an ever-present challenge to the immunization supply chain, with a little luck and a lot of logistical know-how, immunization programs across the globe will continue to improve.