Freeze prevention resources
This page features background information and guidance on freeze prevention in the immunization supply chain, also known as the cold chain. Section one contextualizes the impact of freezing vaccines, section two shares solutions and technologies to prevent freezing, and section three provides additional support resources for the introduction of new freeze-preventive vaccine carriers.
1. Freeze prevention and why it is important
The following resources underscore the negative effects of exposing vaccines to freezing temperatures. For an overview, please watch our short video on strategies to prevent freezing.
These literature reviews highlight the effects of freezing on vaccine potency, and document occurrences of freezing temperatures in the cold chain:
- Effects of freezing on vaccine potency: Literature review. Available at http://path.org/vaccineresources/details.php?i=1158
- Freezing temperatures in the vaccine cold chain: A systematic literature review. Available at http://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X07002289
Building Next-Generation Immunization Supply Chains, a March 2017 special edition of Vaccine, brings together evidence from global experts in 31 articles representing decades of work from implementing partners, country governments, and donors. The articles address the impact of the cold chain on vaccine coverage, current challenges, successful pilots, promising ideas and innovations, and upstream solutions that can all help mitigate challenges:
Specific articles from the Special Issue related to vaccine freeze exposure and freeze prevention include:
- Is freezing in the vaccine cold chain an ongoing issue? A literature review. Available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X16309471
- Innovations in cold chain equipment for immunization supply chains. Available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X17300129
2. How to manage freezing temperatures in the immunization supply chain through new technologies and products
For more information about some of the activities PATH is engaged in to prevent freeze exposure in the supply chain, please follow the links below.
In this one-pager, we highlight PATH’s journey to develop freeze-preventive technology for vaccine carriers:
This summary report from a workshop led by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Program Division discusses vaccine freezing in transportation, potential solutions for passive devices, and forward-looking strategies:
Documentation of the research for passive freeze-preventive technology for transport of vaccines. This document establishes the underlying freeze-preventive technology as open and available so that any and all can access and use the solution without patents or royalties:
- Research disclosure: Freeze-prevention design for vaccine carriers, cold boxes and other passive cold chain equipment to prevent freezing of vaccines, drugs or pharmaceuticals in the cold chain
The following article discusses solutions to prevent freezing through vaccine development and formulation technologies:
This report leverages our Installed Base and Forecasting Model to assess the global market for freeze-safe vaccine carriers that reduce vaccine product exposure to freezing temperatures and forecasts the potential number of units and value for vaccine carriers:
3. Additional information and resources
This document answers frequently asked questions about new freeze-preventive vaccine carriers:
This job aid educates health workers on how to use freeze-preventive vaccine carriers:
Global forecast for the potential market for freeze-preventive vaccine carriers based on PATH’s Installed Base and Forecasting Model. This forecast estimates the potential number of units and value for vaccine carriers: