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The importance of portable refrigeration in cold chain management

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The ability to transport frontline vaccines under refrigerated conditions is essential in cold chain management.

Clinical laboratories are highly controlled environments, but that same critical level of control becomes much more difficult to achieve once sensitive materials such as frontline vaccines leave the lab.

When these sensitive products, which represent sizeable investments from their creators, are in transit they are at the mercy of external weather and climate conditions that only the man upstairs can control. This is why a methodical cold chain management strategy needs to be adhered to.

‘Cold chain’ is the term used to describe a transportation and storage solution that ensures that biological materials such as vaccines constantly remain within the accepted safe temperature range of 2°C to 8°C. Vaccines are highly delicate substances and their effectiveness can be nullified or destroyed completely if they are allowed to freeze, warm beyond 8°C, or exposed to direct sunlight or UV light.

While rendering laboratory products such as vaccines unusable, poor cold chain management can also cause reputational damage to pharmaceutical companies as cold chain breaches typically must be reported to relevant health industry regulators.

As such, investment in top of the line portable refrigeration solutions needs to be a high priority as it isn’t merely a nice thing to have; it is an essential capability for vaccine manufacturers and biomedical companies.

Finding the right portable refrigeration solution

Just as there are specifically designed refrigeration and freezer units for use in laboratories, so too are there portable refrigeration solutions designed to stringently perform the same function when frontline vaccines are in transit. In its National Vaccine Storage Guidelines 'Strive for 5' publication (1), the Australian Department of Health issues an important reminder that, “non purpose-built portable refrigerators have a propensity to freeze vaccines and should not be used for vaccine storage unless they have been rigorously appraised”. As such, if you are looking at purchasing a portable refrigeration solution you must be looking at bespoke products only.

The Stirling Ultracold Shuttle

There are a range of portable options available to help ensure the integrity of your cold chain management strategy.

The Shuttle (model number: ULT-25NE) from US industry leader Stirling Ultracold is arguably the leading portable ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer solution on the market. Small, lightweight and efficient, the Shuttle’s ease of portability coupled with its ability to maintain a standing temperature of -80°C makes it the ideal solution for clinical trials and biologic drug delivery.

Weighing only 21kgs and with a 25L capacity, the Shuttle can easily and inexpensively be transported while maintaining a temperature range of -20°C to -86°C. The Stirling Ultracold Shuttle provides reassurance that the integrity of frontline vaccines is never compromised.

Bioline Global provides a range of portable refrigeration solutions to the medical and laboratory industry. As well as leading locally manufactured refrigeration units, we are also authorised resellers of leading global brands such as US-based Stirling Ultracold. The Ultracold Shuttle is available in Australia and New Zealand exclusively through Bioline Global. Please contact us on 1800 210 805, or you can fill out our Online Enquiry Form, and we will contact you as soon as possible.

  • https://beta.health.gov.au/resources/publications/national-vaccine-storage-guidelines-strive-for-5-2nd-edition
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