Cold Chain is a range of refrigerators, freezers and transport containers for storing and transporting vaccines even in the most remote areas of the world and under difficult technical and climatic conditions.
They guarantee a stable quality of the vaccines from the manufacturer to the person being vaccinated.
The challenge of vaccination
In 1974, when the WHO launched the Extended Programme on Immunization (E.P.I.), only 5% of children in the entire world were vaccinated against the basicst diseases.
Today more children than ever before are being reached with immunization which curently averts an estimated 2.5 million deaths every year in all age groups from diphteria, tetanus, pertussis (whopping cough), and measles. … Nearly 20% of all deaths in children under 5 is vaccine preventable. But immunization coverage has still not realized its potential. Vaccine security is fundamental to meeting immunization goals.
For many countries, the delivery of safe injection practices and ensuring the quality of the vaccines is a significant challenge. A Cold Chain management, when implemented properly, can help overcome this challenge and enhance the safety and efficiency of an immunization program.
A good Cold Chain is indispensable for reducing vaccine waste and for maximizing the number of children vaccinated, even in the most deprived countries.
The effectiveness of vaccines is ensured, however, only if the specific storage conditions are maintained at each level of the Cold Chain, from the manufacturer to the child, through all the phases of storage and transport. (Global Immunization data December 2010, WHO and UNICEF homepage)
To answer all recommendations set up by the WHO, B Medical Systems has developed a comprehensive storage and transport concept to suite all stages of the Cold Chain even under difficult climatic and technical conditions.
Background information PQS certification
The PQS system (Performance, Quality and Safety) is a WHO guideline for manufacturers of vaccine refrigerators, vaccine freezers and water-pack freezers. The QSS group within WHO’s Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals (IVB) provides technical advice and support aimed at achieving a reliable high quality cold chain for the world’s immunization programmes and publishes performance specifications and verification protocols for cold chain and other immunization-related equipment and devices. These documents have been developed over the years in consultation with end-users, with industry and with testing laboratories and are based on a long-established and rigorous procedure for evaluating and pre-qualifying suitable equipment.
By selecting from the list of pre-qualified equipment, UN procurement agencies, governments and NGOs can be sure that they are purchasing products that are fit for purpose.