The Cold Chain

Today almost 60% of vaccines are thrown away because of doubts about their potency after breaks in the cold chain and possible damage from exposure to high temperatures.
World Health Organization, 1996

Thousands of miles may separate a vaccine manufacturing site and the children needing immunization. Over that distance, the vaccine must be maintained at a temperature just above freezing. National Immunization Days require a network of freezers, refrigerators, and cold boxes across the world’s jungles and deserts.

 

Unloading vaccine from a truck in Moradabad, India
Courtesy of Jean-Marc Giboux, photographer

Vaccinators carrying a cold box walk to a desert town, Herat, Afghanistan
Courtesy of Jean-Marc Giboux, photographer

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Motor bikes developed for use by farmers in the Australian bush have been adapted to meet the specifications needed for vaccine delivery. Elsewhere, health workers make use of horses and even dug-out canoes to ensure that vaccine gets through to children in the remotest health system.
World Health Organization, 1996

Transporting vaccine by boat, Yemen
Courtesy of Jean-Marc Giboux, photographer

Transporting vaccine via camels in India, 1997
Courtesy of Jean-Marc Giboux, photographer

Vaccination in Moradabad, India
Courtesy of Jean-Marc Giboux, photographer

Vaccinator with burro, Yemen
Courtesy of Jean-Marc Giboux, photographer