Australia's expedited plan to start dishing out COVID jabs in mid-late February will call for NASA-like logistical organisation. And ideally, no more clusters of infections to distract frontline workers.
Getting vaccines to rural and hard-to-reach areas is critical for public health and ethical reasons.
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So far, the only COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use need to be kept frozen. But there are many places in the world that can't support a cold supply chain.
Efficient shipping and storage could prevent a lot of wasted vaccines.
AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool
COVID-19 vaccines have very specific storage requirements that make shipping a difficult task. Two ideas – fulfillment centers and cross-docking – could help overcome some distribution challenges.
Dry ice pellets can be used to maintain the ultra-cold temperatures required for Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.
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A pharmaceutical supply chain expert explains the challenges of distributing the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that need to be kept at very low temperatures.
Moderna’s new mRNA vaccine is almost 94.5% effective in large-scale trials.
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
There are two new COVID-19 vaccines that appear to be more than 90% effective. But what are these vaccines, and how are they different from those used previously?
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine needs to be stored at -80⁰C.
Trucks, planes and storage facilities all need to be able to keep a vaccine cold.
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The cold supply chain keeps vaccines fresh during distribution, but the current system is nowhere near large enough to distribute the billions of COVID-19 vaccines that the world needs.
Keeping vaccines stable.
A new way of getting functioning vaccines to where they are needed.
Films that dissolve rapidly when placed under the tongue or high in the cheek will make vaccines cheaper and more reliable.
Stephen C. Schafer
Inspired by amber and hard candy, researchers figured out a new, needle-free, shelf-stable way to preserve vaccines, making them easier to ship and administer around the world.
Vaccines need to be kept cold to remain effective. A lack of power in remote areas makes this difficult, reducing the reach of the life-saving pharmaceuticals.
Running an effective mass immunisation campaign, vaccinating children in Nigeria against measles is a logistical nightmare.