Assuming a COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon, the cold chain needs to be prepared for the onslaught of vaccines shipping around the world and the U.S.
It’s not an easy task, given the number of transfer points from manufacturing to administration sites. Vaccines often travel by truck and airplane, with stops and storage at the distributor before arrival at the terminal point, where they once again go into cold storage. The last mile to the healthcare provider could be a van delivery to a nearby town, or they could be transported via donkey, bike or camel.
Vaccines lose effectiveness the longer they are outside their target temperature range, whether too warm or too cold. They should be stored between -58 degrees Fahrenheit and 5 F if frozen, or 35 F to 46 F otherwise.