A vital component in the transportation and storage of the COVID-19 vaccine is dry ice.
While the recent announcement of very promising results of two COVID-19 vaccines was welcomed across the globe, major concerns have been raised about the feasibility of their distribution in third-world countries since these vaccines require transportation and storage at extremely low temperatures.
To enable a mass immunisation effort, it will be necessary not only to transport the vaccines across countries and continents, but also to provide adequate storage facilities of between minus 20 degrees and as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius to prevent its deterioration and loss of effectiveness.
However, several promising vaccines still in trail, promise to be cheaper, and only require storage at fridge temperature, making the logistics of transportation and storage of these vaccines much more achievable.
South Africa is approaching the commencement of COVID-19 vaccination, and among the first likely to be distributed, are vaccines that require deep freezing and cold chain transport solutions. Airlines as well as pharmaceutical distributors are scrambling to set up ultra-cold shipping, transport and storage facilities. A vital component in the transportation and storage of these and other vaccines is dry ice.
Critical cold chain
Dry ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide, typically occurring at a temperature of -78.5°C, harvested as a by-product of CO2. It is used in various applications, one of which is providing the critical cold chain for the transportation and storage of medical and pharmaceutical products.
“We have seen a drastic increase in the demand for dry ice in recent weeks as airlines, pharmaceutical couriers and other distributors are preparing for the distribution and storage of these vaccines expected mid-2021. Not only will the demand for dry ice continue to increase, but so will the demand for liquid carbon dioxide (LCO2)”
“We anticipate that, as demand increases, governments might call on dry ice producers to prioritise supply of their product to pharmaceutical distributors/couriers, airlines and hospitals to assure sustained availability of this critical component in the provision of the COVID-19 vaccine,” says Pieter Smith, general manager of Dry Ice Africa.
“As a leading manufacturer and supplier of dry ice in Gauteng and Africa, we supply customers transporting pharma products such as vaccines over long distances, and across borders daily with dry ice. We are confident that our manufacturing capacity in partnership with our liquid carbon dioxide suppliers is more than sufficient to meet the anticipated demand for dry ice from vaccine distributors. We also supply coolers to keep the dry ice cold while transported over long distances,” states Smith.
Contact Dry Ice Africa to place your order for dry ice. The company does same-day, door-to-door deliveries across Gauteng, as well as deliveries in Africa (to countries with direct flights from South Africa) seven days a week 365 days a year. Simply place an online order or call the offices around the clock at +27 (0)11 394 8642.