According to the WHO, immunization averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year from vaccine preventable diseases.
Solar-powered vaccine refrigeration: Ensuring every child is immunizedHealthcare
Vaccine delivery is still an unsolved problem, due to the absence of reliable refrigeration. Each year, 1.5 million children under the age of five die from vaccine-preventable diseases, because they do not receive immunization. In addition, 26 million children in that age group—roughly one in five born each year—remain unimmunized, and at significant risk of disease. All this happens even as half of the vaccines in developing countries, where they are made available virtually free of cost, have to be discarded due to spoilage.
We have developed an innovative solar-powered vaccine refrigerator, which uses a unique thermal geometry. As a WHO-mandated solar-direct-drive device, our vaccine fridge does not rely on batteries. Once it cools down to the right temperature 2-8°C, it can stay in that range for more than five days without any power, in ambient temperature as hot as 43°C. Using the same innovative thermal geometry, we have also developed a low-cost passive freeze-proof vaccine carrier, ergonomically designed to preserve vaccines beyond the last mile.
The vaccine fridge was developed in partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.