Finding the cure: meeting the challenge of global vaccine distribution

28th September 2020

The pharma cold chain is a vital element in global healthcare, but it’s an activity with little room for error – and therefore in need of the very best in transport refrigeration.

From polio to smallpox, vaccines have a long track record of saving millions of people from infectious diseases.

To make this happen, the pharma cold chain has the mission of protecting the integrity of products from ‘the factory to the vein’.

It’s a big ask.

Global pharma in numbers

In addition, it should be noted that EU regulatory authorities introduced new rules in 2013 that require temperature-controlled transportation for around 80% of pharma products.

Keeping vaccines effective

Some of the most important vaccines are heat sensitive, and require custom transportation.

Three core temperature ranges are used in pharma transport:

Temperature range % of pharma loads involved
2°C – 8°C (refrigerated) 31%
20°C – 25°C (ambient) 51%
0°C – -150°C (frozen) 17%

32% of all vaccines should never be allowed to freeze (1)

Danger ahead

A lack of energy

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization estimates that only 10% of healthcare facilities in the world’s poorest countries have a reliable electricity supply.

A sheer waste

Which explains why the World Health Organization estimates that more than 50% of vaccines may be wasted globally every year because of temperature control issues.

Complex distribution

The pharma cold chain extends from the manufacturer to the wholesaler, to the hospital or clinic, to the patient, to the vein.

That’s many hands packing, lifting, storing, hauling, and delivering (and many opportunities for human and machine error).

In search of the solution

Good Distribution Practice (GDP)

Refers to the regulatory guidelines governing the wholesale distribution of pharma products to ensure their quality and integrity is maintained throughout the supply chain.

The capabilities that matter:

Real-time visibility and remote monitoring – with the ability to control temperature set-point and load temperatures to keep loads in optimal condition during transit.

Pre-trip reports and scheduled pre-cooling – to ensure transport containers are ready for loading.

Detailed log of conditions during transport – to provide accountability for customers, and guarantee product integrity and on-time delivery.

Find your perfect remedy

Thermo King PharmaSolutions provide a range of equipment for temperature-controlled transportation – for trailer, truck, and vehicle-powered units.

Equipment that:

  • Is tested in line with GDP protocols
  • Cover ranges from +25°C to below -20°C
  • Work under extreme ambient conditions
  • Offer outstanding performance even with multiple door openings

Discover more at:

(1) Source: