As a part of Pedicon 2022, B Medical Systems, a global leader in the medical cold chain industry organized on the 22nd of March 2022 an insightful panel discussion on the role of efficient cold chain in vaccine management. The panel discussion covered various factors related to the cold chain that can empower effective vaccine management and covered in-depth topics like capacity building, digitization, solar-powered vaccine cold chain, innovation, and more.
The panelists of the session were Dr. Suneela Garg (Member Lancet Commission COVID India Taskforce/President of Indian Academy of Preventive and Social Medicine ), Dr. Abhay Shah (Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP)), Mr. Neeraj Jain (Country Director India & Director of South Asia at PATH), Dr. Santosh Shukla (State Expanded Program on Immunisation Officer (SEPIO), Madhya Pradesh), Dr. Sonalini Khetrapal (Social Sector Specialist, South Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB)) and Mr. Abhimanyu Saxena (Senior National Program Manager, CoWIN and eVIN, UNDP). The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Rajiv Tandon, Director of RTI.
During the panel discussion, Dr. Garg highlighted that the core areas that need to be focused on are cold chain capacity building, expansion to the private sector paediatrics, and the digitization of the system to ensure that vaccines are effectively managed. During the session, Dr. Shah shared interesting insights from an Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation Practices (ACVIP) study in the state of Gujarat and pointed out the necessity for aspects like auto alarm systems, well-trained staff, controlled door openings, etc., for an efficient cold chain system. Dr. Shukla, a veteran of the immunization sector shared his experiences from the ‘transportation relay’ that helped in successfully rolling out the COVID-19 immunization program in Madhya Pradesh and shared how the best practices in the state helped it emerge as the national leader. Mr. Jain talked in-depth about how the vaccine cold chain is the unsung hero of immunisations without which the whole vaccination campaign can lose its intended objective. Mr. Jain also discussed about the importance of solarisation, and the innovation happening in the associated space both within and outside the current scope of the vaccine cold chain. Mr. Saxena further emphasized digitization and how it is the need of the hour. He also shared insights on how innovation can result in high ROI, contrary to the belief that innovation can be expensive.
The panel discussion was concluded with insights from Dr. Khetrapal on the role of donors in enabling an efficient cold chain for vaccine management and how donors like ADB played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic and will play a crucial role in future capacity building. The session concluded with Mr. Jesal Doshi, CEO of B Medical Systems India Pvt Ltd, felicitating all the panellists.