Cold Chain Logistics Industry and COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Challenges
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more and more industries are adopting modern solutions to run businesses smoothly and efficiently.
One of such industries is the food distribution industry which has seen a massive increase in the demand for reliable cold storage solutions. As a result, cold room specialists are introducing innovative solutions.
Cold Chain and COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
The cold chain is playing an integral role in stopping the spread of the coronavirus because a number of COVID-19 vaccines have been introduced, which require an efficient supply chain.
Other than the vaccines, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly increased the importance of refrigeration in the global supply chain because it is required for the distribution of oxygen and store medicines.
The introduction of the coronavirus vaccines has created a lot of logistics and refrigeration challenges because every other country wants the vaccine as soon as possible to curb the spread of the virus.
The significance of the cold chain was highlighted in November 2020 when Pfizer announced that the storage temperature of -80°C would be necessary for the vaccine. As a result, it would not be wrong to say that the world is still in the process of rediscovering the importance of the cold chain.
Requirements of COVID-19 Vaccines in the Cold Chain
Most of the health products are heat sensitive which means their properties can get changed by the temperature outside the specified range of temperature. A large number of vaccines are supplied globally, and most of them have to be stored between +2°C and +8°C. Two of the popular companies, Pfizer and Moderna, have announced that storage temperatures of −80°C and −20°C will be required to store COVID-19 vaccines, respectively.
The good thing is that the cold chain has greatly evolved due to the advancements in the tech industry. As a result, more and more refrigeration solutions are being introduced by professionals and cold room specialists. Yet, the cold chain equipment is not evenly distributed on a global scale.
According to the current trends, the existing solutions can be used to supply and store products at −20°C. Similar solutions can be implemented for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines as well.
Important Aspects of Cold Storage
There are certain aspects that must be considered by the companies as well as the cold room specialists to implement a suitable cold storage solution. These factors are:
The very first step to prepare a facility for cold storage is to consider the equipment and capacity that is required for this purpose. This step also involves thorough inspection and observation of the cold storage operations.
Cold room panel manufacturers will fully evaluate your requirements in this process and consider all of these factors while producing freezer room panels and other such equipment.
Maintaining the cold storage facilities for a long period of time can be quite expensive as there are high energy costs involved in this process. Therefore, it is important to rely on the advice of the cold room specialists to cut down these costs.
One important tip is to utilize all of the available space so that the cost-effectiveness of the entire process is improved.
There are many different safety challenges involved in the global supply chain. Such challenges become even more complex when you are dealing with a cold chain, especially of components like the vaccines and medicines in which even a slight error can often damage the entire supply.
It is important for companies to train their employees so that they are able to perform the operations as per safe and secure industry standards.
Another challenge that you have to consider is that studies show that many workers feel uncomfortable when they are working in cold temperatures.
Therefore, it is important to provide them with suitable gear suitable for the environment. Similarly, regular training is essential to prevent injuries and ensure maximum productivity.
The Bottom Line
The aforementioned shows that there is a wide range of challenges involved in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines on a global scale.
There is still a lot of room for improvements that can be made by considering both the technical and non-technical aspects of the cold chain to mitigate the global supply chain challenges.
It is important for the cold room specialists and freezer room panel manufacturers to work hand in hand with the distribution companies and make sure safe and cost-effective solutions are implemented for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.