Reliable temperature-controlled coronavirus vaccine logistics require smooth integration of all those involved as well as materials that provide good insulation.  As the range of coronavirus vaccines grows, so do the requirements for their distribution. The different vaccines need to be stored and transported at different temperature ranges – often together in the same vehicle or cold store. Handling complex processes like this is routine for leading logistics companies. But they depend on the skills of packaging providers and raw materials suppliers.

Logistics companies were already transporting pharmaceutical products at minus 70°C in boxes packed with dry ice before the coronavirus pandemic. Many of these methods are not new. The challenge for the coronavirus vaccine logistics in relation to the cooling systems is rather to adapt the known technology as quickly as possible to specific requirements such as pack sizes as well as storage and transport times.

Developed recently are passive – in other words non-electric cooling systems for the pharmaceutical industry. The lightweight thermal boxes can be fitted with special cooling elements for almost any temperature range and for different volumes. This flexibility in terms of size and cooling range comes into play with the coronavirus vaccine logistics, as three very different temperature ranges – minus 70°C, minus 15°C to minus 25°C, and plus 2°C to plus 8°C- need to be ensured.

However, there is a misconception that a higher temperature means lesser effort.  The minus 15°C to minus 25°C range may place higher demands on the packaging than minus 70°C.

Dry ice, with its temperature of minus 78°C, cannot be used in this situation, where special cooling elements are required instead.  These elements need to be cold but not too cold, so the temperature does not fall below minus 25°C but enough cooling energy still ends up in the box.

The process is invariably sophisticated in that it needs to run smoothly from the vaccine manufacturer via the packaging producer and logistics company all the way to the user of the individual vaccine doses.  Before it was practically employed, the on-purpose-developed cooling systems have already successfully undergone a demanding qualification process. They have been exposed to changing ambient temperatures in the pilot climate chambers. This ensures that the defined temperature limits are reliably maintained.

The raw materials for the pharmaceutical boxes are extremely important and need to have very good insulating properties. They are made up of expandable polystyrene (EPS) granules custom-made for the purpose.  So far, logistics service providers have already delivered tens of thousands of vaccine doses at the correct temperature in the custom-made EPS boxes. Hundreds of thousands will follow.


More News
Novel Photocatalyst Effectively Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Methane Fuel With Sunlight
News · 30/03/2021

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the major greenhouse gases causing global warming. If carbon dioxide could be converted into energy, it would be killing two birds with one stone in addressing the environmental issues. A new photocatalyst is developed recently, which can produce methane fuel (CH4) selectively and effectively from carbon dioxide using sunlight. According to this research, the quantity of methane produced was almost doubled in the first 8 hours of the reaction process.

Mask manufacturers adopt regulatory compliant VPT to ensure protection from emerging infections
News · 29/03/2021

To control Covid-19 in a more effective way, leading face mask manufacturers have adopted technologies like Virus Protection Technology (VPT) approved by regulatory authorities globally to ensure maximum breathability while ensuring protection through anti-viral and anti-bacterial coating.

Exim rebrands as ExSyn: We celebrate our 30-year heritage with a new brand and website that bring alive our values and purpose
News · 27/03/2021

Today we announce that Exim is rebranding as ExSyn. We are presenting a new brand identity and website as a reflection of our relentless transformation over the course of 30 years serving the pharma and chemical industries. The new brand builds upon our core strengths as a sourcing company and captures our most essential duty: helping improve people’s health and lives.

Remote Desktop GMP audits: A future recourse
News · 25/02/2021

Before the COVID-19 pandemic,
almost all audits and inspections were conducted on site. Plant audits were performed based on the Pre- Audit questionnaires (PAQ), audit agendas and checklists assigned by the auditor which were more or less a supplement to the overall onsite supplier qualification process of GMP audits.