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The Vaccine Cold Chain is Hot

Sep. 25, 2020

The Vaccine Cold Chain is Hot

At the 2020 China International Trade in Services Fair, three Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines made their physical appearance for the first time. Many of them have entered the final phase III clinical trials and are expected to be officially launched by the end of this year.

In 2019, the number of vaccines issued by my country's leading cities was 580 million, and the increase in the number of vaccines caused by COVID-19 was 2.8 to 4.2 billion (2 to 3 doses per course of treatment). Industry sources said that after successful vaccine development The new volume of the cold chain transportation market is more than 7.2 times. In addition, there is a vast overseas market. The global cold chain transportation demand will be very huge. There are currently more than 250 vaccines on 7 platforms in the world under development and testing, and will be authorized for emergency use as soon as the fourth quarter of 2020. The white paper predicts that there will be more than 10 billion doses of vaccines to be vaccinated globally in the future. This will bring a new wave of huge logistics demand.

It is worth noting that the current global COVID-19 vaccine has passed the research and development stage, and the delivery of potentially billions of vaccines has become the next obvious difficulty and focus. It is predicted that the potential scale of delivery is huge, and only one dose of medicine to 7.8 billion people can fill 8,000 freighters. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) stated that the world needs about 8,000 jumbo jets to transport the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the vaccine has not yet been officially launched, IATA has worked with airlines, health agencies and pharmaceutical companies to develop a global air transport plan.

Vaccine cold chain distribution faces unprecedented challenges

Providing more than 10 billion doses of vaccines worldwide, the challenges brought by this scale are also unprecedentedly severe. In order to be globally

For the smooth distribution of COVID-19 vaccine within the country, different links in the entire supply chain require close coordination. The white paper estimates that as many as about 200,000 pallet shipments, about 15 million cooling box shipments, and about 15,000 flights are required. At the same time, in view of the higher requirements for vaccine transportation, the logistics infrastructure covering an area of about 3 billion people is not yet developed, including the lack of a large amount of cold chain equipment required for vaccine transportation.

The vaccine cold chain threshold is higher

The pharmaceutical cold chain is known as the top of the cold chain industry pyramid. Unlike the general fresh cold chain, the threshold for the vaccine cold chain is higher.

Vaccine storage must comply with strict temperature requirements. If it is frozen, it needs to be stored at minus 58-5 degrees Fahrenheit (about minus 50 to minus 15 degrees Celsius), and refrigerated storage must be between 35-46 degrees Fahrenheit (2-8 degrees Celsius). The whole process of storage and transportation requires regular monitoring and recording of temperature.

Since vaccines require the entire cold chain, the qualifications of all cold storage, cold storage rooms, refrigerated containers, and vaccine delivery personnel used must meet the requirements of the World Health Organization. There are also specific WHO guidelines for the management and storage of each vaccine. It is reported that in 2018, UNICEF invested nearly US$100 million in only purchasing cold chain equipment and services.

Are our cold chain logistics companies ready?

Known as the logistics leader by the industry, the cold chain distribution of Mount Everest is a complex and huge system project.

"Seamless" is extremely important in the links of purchase, inventory, transportation, distribution, monitoring, and acceptance. The continuity and coordination of the cold chain are essential. However, the current Chinese pharmaceutical logistics market still presents a "scattered, small and chaotic" situation. There are many small players and uneven operation quality. It is expected that the vaccine supply chain will also face huge challenges. It is understood that the vaccine cold chain requires pharmaceutical logistics companies to have the following capabilities: real-time tracking of location and temperature, high-performance packaging, multi-temperature control, and multiple transportation modes (from factory to distributor/CDC, from distributor to large and small CDC, from CDC To the vaccination point)●China, which is in a leading position in the “supply race” of this epidemic, has become dependent on China for global imports from 59% in January(Average) increased to 83% in May. As vaccines enter the clinic, the global pharmaceutical logistics market will continue to increase competition, and this market may become the next growth point for Chinese logistics companies in the future.


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