The success of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout has highlighted the importance of storage facilities for vaccines. Many countries in the developing world struggle for access to affordable storage facilities for vaccines. The question o0f adequate storage facilities is not just a developing world problem. As the world moves forward, there will be a need to build an arsenal of vaccines, not just for Covid-19, but for other diseases. Given that to put an end to Covid-19, we have to vaccinate the whole world, the numerous challenges facing us demand solutions. This means that we have to have solutions for storage. According to a story in The Engineer, Rolls-Royce has partnered with food technology business, ChefsFridge to offer just that solution, ArcticRX, a ultra-low temperature storage unit that can also be used to transport Covid-19 vaccines in any environment.
Until now, there has been a gap in the cold chain, making the global vaccination effort very challenging. The ArcticRX system promises to close that gap.It is a stable, passive, long-term ultra-low temperature pod. It is a truly innovative solution. It is the first such storage unit to be able to handle a two-dose vaccine protocol and is aimed at remote, rural and international territories in order to ensure that we achieve the goal of vaccinating the entire planet as rapidly as possible.
According to Allen Berta, Rolls-Royce’s Emerging Technologies and Innovation Lead, the system will solve the massive challenge in providing and preserving ultra-low temperatures. Vaccines, in order to work properly, need to be stored in ultra cold environments, even as they are transported from manufacturer to final destination. This burden exists not just for one dose, but for two, given that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is the only one that requires just one dose. A solution like this resolves a massive problem for the industry and the world.
The system was designed by Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis and then developed by ChefsFridge, who also have a base near Rolls-Royce. Thanks to that collaboration, the system came into being. So far, there are three models that have been built and tested. The next stage for the project is to scale up and for this, ChefsFridge is seeking funding and partners who can help them manufacture the pods. The team believes that it can scale up very quickly.
It’s not a surprise that someone has responded to the challenge in the cold chain. Although solutions exist, those solutions are far too expensive and for the developing world, too expensive. Not only are they expensive, they are bulky and cannot be used in areas that lack electricity as well as ultra-low temperature storage facilities at vaccination sites. Furthermore, most existing solutions can only move one dose at a time, creating further logistical and sustainability challenges.
Unlike those solutions, ArcticRX is light, reusable and does not need electricity to function. It is the perfect solution for an unequal world in desperate need for more effective vaccine solutions. As you go out and get Go Mini’s portable storage pod, remember how important storage facilities are in the fight against Covid-19.