After a whirlwind 12+ months, a steady flow of vaccines is finally being distributed amongst the people. There’s hope that the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is slowly but surely coming under control. However, introducing a vaccine also presents various other challenges, with adequate transport of each vile being one of the most important.
It is estimated that approximately 20% of vaccines supplied annually become unusable due to improper temperature-controlled transportation to hospitals and other medical-related facilities. This results in over 1.5 billion children lost annually from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD).
To eliminate this issue, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, along with Toyota Motor Corporation and B-Medical Systems, have partnered to produce a vehicle with a built-in refrigerator dedicated to transporting vaccines that need to be temperature controlled. The vehicle has already been made and has obtained the Performance, Quality, and Safety (PQS) prequalification for quality of medical devices and equipment as set by the WHO.
The vehicle is a Toyota Land Cruiser 78 (really, what else would be up for the job?), which has been equipped with B-Medical Systems’ CF850 vaccine refrigerator with a storage capacity of up to 400 vaccine packages.
The refrigerator is powered by an independent battery that can keep it running for approximately 16 hours without an external power supply. The fridge can be charged by the vehicle when running or by an external-out power supply when parked.
The custom-made Land Cruiser is the very first refrigerated vehicle for vaccines in the world to obtain a PQS qualification. The three companies have vowed to do what’s necessary to put these vehicles into service, stating that they will “continue to make efforts so that the obtainment of PQS for the refrigerated vehicle for vaccines will contribute to the safety and security of the region.”