Vaccines Can Be Stored Without Refrigeration For Months, Research Suggests

Mar, 2022 - By WMR

Vaccines Can Be Stored Without Refrigeration For Months, Research Suggests

Scientists demonstrated new way of storing vaccines without refrigeration with a proof-of-concept study that maintains viability of vaccines for three months at temperatures up to 37˚C

According to the World Health Organization, minimum 50% of vaccines around the globe are wasted every year due to scarcity of storage facilities and temperature control. In current time, stabilizing vaccines without requiring refrigeration system for their equitable distribution is has become important. Now researchers at CSIRO, Australia found a new way to protect vaccines in high temperature.

Most of the vaccines required to be stored in a 35-46˚F (2-8˚C) temperature range for preventing it from degradation. Some of the vaccines, specifically new mRNA vaccines require sub-zero temperatures to be stored. However, the novel technique developed by the scientists involves use of dissolvable, porous, and crystalline material termed as a metal-organic framework (MOF). The material is used for coating the molecules of vaccines to protect them from degenerating due to heat until the vaccine is used. When the vaccine is required to be administered, a solution is added in it for dissolving the MOF coatings and the vaccine is then administered in a regular way.

Furthermore, the scientists tested the new technique on a pair of live virus vaccines. These two vaccines, one for influenza and one for a poultry disease are known to degrade in few days if they are not stored in a cold storage. The found out that the new method successfully kept the two vaccines safe for 12 weeks at room temperature up to 98˚F. After checking thorough imaging, the team found that after three month viability of the vaccines was uninterrupted without refrigerator storage. However, the new technique need more research work before bringing it into commercial use. The MOF coating still required testing and optimization on other types of vaccines like mRNA vaccines.

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