COVID-19 Vaccination Update & the Increased Need for Medical Fridges

As of today, 10th September 2021, 92.1 million COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered within the UK.

43.7 million UK residents are now fully vaccinated – equal to 65.6% of the UK population (aged 16+). A further 4.6 million UK residents have had their first vaccine dose and are awaiting their second dose.

Although the numbers are impressive, the vaccine rollout has not been without its challenges – the main one being cold-chain supply.

The Role of Vaccine Fridges

Vaccines lose their effectiveness if they become too hot or too cold at any time during their lifecycle. Storing vaccines outside their recommended temperature range, including during transport, will lead to them losing their potency, which cannot be reversed. If a vaccine loses its potency, it will fail to create the desired immune response. It is therefore vital that vaccines are stored and transported in medical grade refrigerators and freezers to avoid waste and unnecessary cost.

A new fridge-free COVID-19 vaccine is under development by nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego, however the 3 vaccines currently approved for use in the UK all rely on medical refrigerators and freezers to keep them from spoiling.

The AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines all require refrigeration of +2°C to +8°C during some stage of their lifecycle, whilst the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines also require freezing. This has meant that demand for medical grade refrigerators and freezers has never been higher.

A decision is also imminent regarding a third booster vaccination for the most vulnerable UK residents, as well as initial vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds. If both programmes are approved, demand for medical fridges will no doubt increase even further.

CoolMed Vaccine Fridges

As we’re listed on the NHS Supply Chain, our health service orders have increased exponentially due to the pandemic. So far this year we’ve already processed and delivered over 1000 NHS orders.

Our medical fridges are lockable, offer highly efficient temperature control, feature external temperature displays and sound an alarm if the temperature inside fluctuates for any reason, so they’re perfect for vital vaccine storage.

This year we also wanted to solve the problem of cold chain compliance on the move, so in March we launched our Portable Vaccine Carrier. The carrier helps to transport vaccines to remote areas, providing the last-mile solution for vaccine distribution and allowing the 9.6 million people who live in rural areas of the UK access to a COVID vaccine.

Standard refrigerators cannot be used to transport or store vaccines as they do not offer accurate temperature management or control. Specialist medical fridges, including our Portable Vaccine Carriers, not only monitor and log the temperature inside the fridge, but also the temperature of the vaccines to ensure they remain within the correct range and do not become spoiled.

If you would like to know more about our range of medical fridges, our Portable Vaccine Carrier, or how we can help with vaccine storage, please contact our team. We’d be happy to help!