As trials for the Covid-19 vaccine are underway in different countries including India, the world’s most frontrunner vaccine candidates need non-stop sterile refrigeration to ensure vaccines remain potent and safe.
From reaching the factory to the syringe, the safe delivery of vaccines to the people is a massive challenge. Like many developing countries, India will also have to significantly ramp up its cold chain facilities, as it is moving into the next stage of vaccine distribution.
To provide safe delivery the Uttar Pradesh government has also asked officials to complete all preparations for the prospective Covid-19 vaccination drive, including “robust cold-chain maintenance set-up” in all districts by December 15.
According to The Hindustan Times Report, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s directions for the preparations of the Covid-19 vaccine to reach in a time-bound and well-managed manner came at a meeting with the state-level Covid-19 management team to review pandemic and Unlock status in Uttar Pradesh.
The vaccine cold chain hurdle is just the latest disparity of the pandemic weighted against many countries. Investment in the infrastructure and cooling technology lags behind the high-speed leap that vaccine development has taken this year.
Talking about the cold-chain for the prospective vaccines, Adityanath told HT, ”To ensure last-mile connectivity and ensuring that nothing goes wrong before the shot is administered we will ensure robust cold-chain maintenance set-up in all the districts by December 15.”
Pawanexh Kohli, the founding CEO of India’s National Centre for Cold-Chain Development (NCCD), agrees that protocols will require Covid-19 vaccines to be kept between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius., while in transport and storage until delivery.
Adityanath said that till the vaccine became available, all Covid protection, prevention, and treatment protocols should continue with the highest alertness.
“The Prime Minister, too, earlier in October stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously. It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vials, syringes,” a government statement said.
Reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the country, including preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution, and administration. Over the last few days, cases and growth rate are steadily declining but there is no room for complacency. https://t.co/RvtLXRcONb
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 17, 2020
As a number of states are witnessing a fresh spike in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet with chief ministers and other representatives of 8 states and union territories via video conferencing today to review the Covid-19 situation and discuss the vaccine distribution strategy.