A vaccine for COVID-19 currently needs to be stored at -70 C (-94 F). To put this in perspective our home refrigerator (fridge) main area is at 4 C (40 F) and the chiller compartment is at 0 C (32 F). A freezer or freezer compartment is at -18 C (0 F) all rounded approximate equivalents.
Traditional vaccines are stored at a temperature of between 2 C (35 F) and 8 C (46 F). Yes your fridge is good enough, but not for our corona guy.
So mostly, no doctor, clinic, pharmacy, small hospital can store the currently leading COVID vaccine candidate.
A spoiled vaccine is useless, it has to be thrown away. A 2019 study found that 25% of vaccines are degraded at delivery point.
Many countries have unique logistic challenges that BREAK the cold chain. If in a battery powered cold box, perhaps. ELSE Off-loading from an airport on the tarmac. Transfer from boat to rail or road. Stoppage at check-points. Smuggling checks may involve opening the box and even seeing the vials.
Even if the vaccine is delivered properly followed by the second dose to exact World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, it’s most likely to be at 70% efficacy. ie. you still have a 30% chance of getting COVID yourself. Why states, governments and public health want you to take it is to help move the WHOLE problem toward ‘herd immunity’. Without the vaccine measles, smallpox etc. was never controlled and cannot be controlled. The 70% also assumes 100% of the population will take it and are given the vaccine.
Getting 70% of the 8 billion global population of just the 700,000 people in your town of 1 million is going to take WEEKS, MONTHS, YEARS.
Back to the medical-cold-chain problem, the handling of 100,000,000 and more vaccines even on a daily basis to be able to control THIS or any other pandemic.
What if the virus mutates? Evolves? Your immunity lasts only 2 years? What about the next pandemic which may have very different spread rates, morbidity factors and mortality rates?
Speaking from a Technology perspective and 5PL (Fifty Party Logsitics), medical cold chain, drones, IoT (Internet of things) RFID tags, AatoID, Individual ID’s & bio metrics, big-data, AI, ML, all need to come together.
Like Farm to Fork in organic food supply chains, the potential of personalized medicine starting with genomics, we need a ‘Vial to Person’, tracking of a specific vial to a specific person, globally.
Are we again going to let Big-Tech corner the above markets? Or do we this as a global open-source, collaborative, crowd-sourced good for humanity effort? Get in touch to see how we can build small parts that think big of a globally needed eco-system.