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What is the vaccine cold chain?

Pharmaceutical Sciences

With the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent vaccine, new phrases have come into the national conversation.…

With the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent vaccine, new phrases have come into the national conversation. One of those is ‘the vaccine cold chain’. Let’s take a quick look at what the vaccine cold chain is and how MRIGlobal fits into it.

Why does the temperature of a vaccine matter?

Vaccines are biological products, and as such they need to be kept at regulated temperatures to prevent their active ingredients from degrading. Many vaccines, like the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, require subzero temperatures to maintain their efficacy. Others, like the newer Johnson & Johnson vaccine, need to be protected from freezing temperatures and must be kept cold. 

Early vaccines need to be kept in subzero temperatures that cannot be achieved in an average freezer. In other words, these vaccines are less thermostable; they must be kept much colder to retain effectiveness. 

Vaccines are made more thermostable through the addition of new elements in the formula, which is a process that takes a lot of time due to the safety and efficacy tests that must be done with each change. 

The ultra-cold chain

MRIGlobal has a solution with our 15 ultra-cold freezers. Our ultra-cold freezers can reach temperatures as low as -86°C. We manage these with our validated inventory management system to ensure all materials are kept at the proper temperatures. We can store up to 200,000 doses of vaccine in our ultra-cold freezers.

Getting the vaccines out

Once the vaccine doses are manufactured, they need to be transported to the health centers or immunization programs that will be distributing them. Once they arrive, they need to be kept at their ideal temperature until they’re administered. 

The vaccine cold chain is a network stretching across the globe. It contains cold rooms, freezers like those at MRIGlobal, refrigerators, cold boxes, and carriers designed to keep vaccines at their optimal temperature throughout the entire process.

Learn more about the vaccine cold chain and MRIGlobal

For more than 75 years, MRIGlobal has advanced scientific research across a variety of industries. We focus on supporting better health outcomes on a global scale. For us, it’s not simply about science; it’s about the people who make it all happen. 

Our solution-driven approach drives solutions for even the most complex situations. Through our dedication, we can solve any technical problem. That’s why we believe people choose MRIGlobal for pharmaceutical repository services.

To learn more about our repository services, contact us at info@mriglobal.org or fill out an online repository request

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