Deep Cold Vaccine Storage Solutions

Deep Cold Vaccine Storage Solutions

With the COVID-19 vaccine releases in their final stages, it becomes apparent that some of the vaccines will require low storage temperatures of -80°C / -112°F degrees to be fully effective. Regardless of the transport packaging chosen, this creates the need to set up suitable storage facilities for the vaccines in distribution and vaccination centers (including hospitals).

The main principles here are secure temperature maintenance, handling options and storage capacity, which may be modularly expandable, since the need for a second vaccination and the duration of the pandemic cannot be conclusively predicted at this point in time.

MECOTEC has developed flexible solutions to meet the customers´ rising demand for cold storage capacities.

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The MECOTEC Concept

MCF-2 – Transport Solution

Technical Information about the First Mobile Hybrid Deep Cold Storage Solution for transport, storage and distribution of COVID-19-Vaccines at temperatures down to – 80°C/-112°F

The transport and storage container has a deep-freeze warehouse with a volume of approx. 13 m³ at a storage temperature of down to – 80°C / -112 °F. This room allows – depending on the type of packaging and the load – the transport and safe storage of up to 1,000,000 vaccination doses at constant minimum cooling temperatures. The vaccines can be taken out in small or large amounts directly at the distribution station.The technology required for this is installed in a 2.7 m² technical room directly behind the storage room. The purely electrically operated chiller has two redundantly installed cold generators, which ensure the room temperature for cooling. During the transport, the power is supplied by two built-in generator sets.
As an additional security measure, the vaccine is stored in transport packaging with cooling batteries and / or dry ice bags. At the vaccination center, the storage solution can be set up stationary on site and supplied with power via a three-phase power connection with 400V without having to repackage the vaccination vials.Thanks to this independent power supply and redundancy, an availability of almost 100% of the cooling is achieved. Remote monitoring, GPS location and complete temperature recording with an alarm system allow permanent location and monitoring of the container. Since this 20′ container is a standardized size, it can be transported with any conventional container transport vehicle without a special permit.

MCF-3 and MCF-4 – Stationary or Mobile

Based on over 20 years of experience in world-widely used very-low temperature cooling installations for medical and industrial applications, and particularly on the recent -70°C MXX-1 production plant, the flexible design offers two options:

MCF-3: a fully stationary storage unit, and the
MCF-4: a smaller (20’-container size) and mobile storage unit

The MCF-3 and MCF-4 distinguish themselves above the MCF-2 transportation and storage solution in that they do not have the integrated auxiliary Diesel-power station, necessary during transport and in case of emergency.

Figure 1 shows the interior division of a stationary deep cold store with a usable capacity of over 2 million vaccination doses, depending on the type of intermediate packaging. The power supply is via 400V. In the work area for the warehouse clerks, the temperature is -20°C/ -4°F, so that it is possible to work with the current protective regulations for protective clothing against the cold.

The vaccine is stored in hatch cabinets in packaging. This solution is particularly suitable for places where large quantities of vaccines need to be stored, such as at airports and large distribution centers.

For the mobile solution, the structure of which is shown in Figure 2, the same temperatures and boundary conditions apply as for the stationary solution. It can be set up on the basis of an ISO standard 10′ or 20′ container indoors or outdoors. With this solution, too, the cold store is supplied via a cooling system in the outdoor area. The usable capacity here is somewhat smaller than with the stationary storage unit and is over 700,000 vaccination doses per mobile unit.

Figure 1

Stationary deep cold store with cooling machine container (right)

Figure 2

Mobile deep cold store with cooling machine container (right)

External Security, Quality and Service

The extremely high commercial value of the vaccines requires most important security measures against abuse, theft and sabotage. Aside from local guards, MECOTEC includes tracking sensors which may include information, such as door openings a.s.o., beyond the above mentioned data, via the VPN channel.

MECOTEC is certified along the ISO 9001 standards. A certification for the storage containers is being prepared presently.

Aside from the bi-directional data line to MECOTEC, a phone hotline is open to customers and eventually, service personnel is sent to the customer or the related storage centers.