While people in the United States and other developed countries breathe a sigh of relief that the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing and restrictions are being lifted, the worldwide demand for Vaccine Temperature Monitoring against this disease continues to grow. Asia, Africa, Central, and South America are significantly behind in their vaccination efforts versus the US and Europe.
In this blog, we’ll look at what’s driving this massive demand and the corresponding demand for vaccine temperature monitoring.
Covid-19 Has Created an Unprecedented Need for Vaccines
As of late May 2021, nearly 3.5 million people have died due to COVID-19. That official number is likely lower than it should be because some deaths, particularly early on, weren’t attributed to the virus.
This doesn’t reflect the 168 million cases of COVID-19 that have struck people globally. Many of those who became ill but recovered will have “long haul” symptoms, including permanent lung damage, fatigue, and much more.
This disease has been devastating for individual lives as well as for the economy. It was the cause for the largest effort to discover vaccines since polio and smallpox. For the first time since those diseases were tackled in the middle of the 20th century, the demand for vaccines has become a global priority. In the Western world, private corporations created and distributed vaccines. In other nations, like China and Russia, governments sponsored vaccine development.
Demonstrating the strong desire to return the world to some approximation of pre-pandemic activity, the demand for vaccines is massive. Every nation on earth wants to vaccinate its entire population, all 7.674 billion of us.
Why Vaccine Demand Figures Will Remain High
The pandemic is not over, or even under control, in much of the world; the disease is still raging in many countries. Currently, the demand for vaccines is still high and it is expected that this demand will continue through 2021 and beyond.
“Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) on Tuesday [June 1] raised its forecast for 2021 COVID-19 vaccine sales by more than 70% to $26 billion and said demand from governments around the world fighting to halt the pandemic could contribute to its growth for years to come.” – Reuters
Pfizer is only one of several pharmaceutical companies that will see a massive increase in vaccine sales in 2021 and beyond.
In “high-income countries,” most of them in North America and Europe, the supply of vaccines is exceeding demand. That leaves billions of people in other parts of the world that need access to these vaccines.
“High-Income Countries (HICs) constitute 82% of global vaccine sales in terms of value, corresponding to about 20% of the annual volume of vaccines sold. Not only do HICs pay higher prices, but they are also more likely to implement newer vaccines.” – World Health Organization
Throughout 2021 and beyond, the market for vaccines will continue in Africa, Central and South America, and most of Asia.
COVID-19 is Not the Only Driver of Demand
Many other diseases, such as measles and tuberculosis, are on the rise due to a lack of access to vaccines and a growing anti-vaccine movement.
These diseases have, in most cases, had effective vaccines for decades, but haven’t been wiped out simply because vaccines cost money. In many parts of the world, money that can be devoted to this kind of expense scarce.
“Rising prevalence of various diseases such as measles, rubella, TB and others, growing investment for the development of more effective vaccines and increasing cases of Covid-19 worldwide are some major factors anticipated to drive the growth of the global vaccine raw material market.” – PRNewswire
This growth in demand for other vaccines will drive the need for temperature controls to keep those vaccines safe for use along with the COVID-19 vaccines.
The Covid-19 Vaccines Are Highly Temperature Sensitive
Of the readily available COVID-19 vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Janssen vaccines can be held at temperatures that approximate normal refrigeration. Both are recommended to be held at 35°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C ).
The Moderna vaccine, on the other hand, must be held at between -58°F and 5°F (-50°C and -15°C). The doses are kept frozen until just before use.
In all cases, the proper temperature must be maintained during transport and storage. Any time-temperature-related abuse can lead to entire shipments of vaccines needing to be discarded.
For the first time on a massive scale, the public has been made aware of temperature monitoring. The evening news showed warehouse workers packing boxes of vaccines with dry ice and data loggers that track the temperature of the shipment from there to the vaccination site.
How to Find the Right Vaccine Monitoring Solution
The right vaccine temperature monitoring system is vital to the success of the effort to eradicate this disease.
This Dickson guide has some helpful tips for getting vaccine temperature monitoring solutions right. It lists the following as the criteria for choosing and installing a system that will keep vaccines safe.
1. Understand your organizational needs – This is a survey of simple, but important issues, such as where to place data loggers, and whether or not you need mobile loggers, data on humidity, light exposure, or vibration along with the temperature.
2. Have a clear installation plan – Have a plan that accounts for all your needs. Sensor placement, operating procedures, the installation qualifications of the installer, and calibration are all considerations for the data logger system.
3. Establish thorough training protocols – It is vital for everyone who will work with and near the data loggers to understand what they are, how they work, and what their responsibility is to the temperature logging. It is also important to train staff on how to read the data logger information.
4. Optimize alarm capabilities – It’s imperative to be certain that alarms are set for everyone who needs to know something has gone awry. It’s equally important to make sure that the system doesn’t set off alarms for non-emergent situations.
5. Test, track, and reevaluate – Using the data delivered by the data loggers, staff should look for ways to optimize the use of the devices, how they can improve delivery, and what needs to be done to prevent the system from having problems in the future.
Demand for Vaccines and Temperature Logging will Continue
For the foreseeable future, into 2021 and beyond, the need for vaccines will continue. This means that the need for properly logged and maintained cold storage and shipment systems will continue worldwide.
Each space will require data loggers to track temperatures to ensure and assure the right temperatures so vaccines are effective and safe.