In the developing world, maintaining the vaccine “cold chain” is no easy task. Most vaccines must be transported and stored within a very specific temperature range.
Sweltering heat, unreliable electricity, inappropriate vaccine storage (e.g., placing a vaccine against an ice pack), and long distances between health care facilities are just some of the factors that can disrupt the supply chain, causing overheating—and in some cases freezing—of vaccines. This leads to wasted vaccines, or worse, the delivery of vaccinations that no longer have the capacity to provide protection against the disease.
Once vaccines arrive at their destination, damaged or not, additional challenges arise, including sterile delivery devices and waste disposal.
As new, more expensive vaccines arrive on the market—costing up to 100 times more than traditional ones—the stakes are even higher. That’s why AMP is working with countries to tackle these managerial and logistical challenges.