Sure Chill’s Grade A freeze protection was so ahead of its time that WHO rewrote their standards for vaccine refrigerators.

Since the first vaccines were developed in the 18th century, they have prevented innumerable incidences of disease and helped save millions of lives. Many infectious diseases that used to be commonplace globally, like polio, diphtheria and mumps are now almost unheard of in developed countries due to the prevalence of vaccination programs.

Despite this, the World Economic Forum points out that “one in five children in the world aren’t fully protected by even the most basic vaccines. In addition, almost 20 million are at risk of contracting preventable diseases because they are under-vaccinated. As a result, about 1.5 million children die every year from diseases that can be prevented by vaccination coverage.”

Vaccines are only as good as the cold chain they depend on. The journey from production to administration can be arduous in many rural or remote areas. Vaccines critically need to be continually stored between 2°C and 8°C, otherwise, they become ineffective and in the case of a vaccine that has been frozen, it can even cause local reactions such as abscesses if administered. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates more than 50% of vaccines are wasted globally every year because of temperature control and according to UNICEF, an estimated USD$1.5 million worth of vaccines were lost in 5 months of 2011, often due to difficulties maintaining the cold chain. So, what can be done to reduce this and ensure safe vaccines for all?

Ian Tansley inventor of the Sure Chill Technology and expert on the use of renewable energy in cold chain logistics, tells us

“The cold chain is absolutely essential to the success of vaccination programmes, and needs to be built on solid foundations: not using equipment that just isn’t fit for purpose.”

One method of maintaining the correct temperature when storing vaccines is by using a device with ice packs or an ice lined refrigerator, but the risk of the vaccines freezing is much higher and needs very careful management when using the device. Therefore, choosing the right refrigerator to store the vaccine is crucial to any vaccination programme.

Sure Chill’s water-lined cooling technology guarantees total Grade-A certified freeze protection due to the way it harnesses the unique properties of water. The Grade-A classification is for products where vital vaccines can be stored without any risk of freezing regardless of how the vaccine is stored in the compartment. In fact, Sure Chill’s Grade-A freeze protection was so ahead of its time that WHO rewrote the standards to ensure other manufacturers vaccine refrigerators were up to the same quality as the Sure Chill devices in 2017.

With current global vaccination programmes, major strides are being taken to prioritise the cold chain, with funding from key partnerships such as GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, who are jointly investing with countries to improve efficiency and safety of the vaccine cold chain. This offers positive reassurance to those countries where getting the vaccine to those who need it most is more costly and complex, and here at Sure Chill we are committed to providing the confidence in the devices for storing vaccines, so that the health teams can concentrate on the job in hand.