This technology turns vaccines into powdered form to keep them effective

After production, most vaccines must be kept at specific temperatures in order to remain effective. This can be a problem in the developing world, where cold storage of vaccines on a large scale isn’t practical. In fact, as much as 50 percent of vaccines are wasted globally every year, largely because of problems with temperature control.

A Swedish startup believes it has found an alternative that can overcome this huge logistical challenge: technology that turns any vaccines into a powdered form that can survive without refrigeration.

“Essentially, we separate the water from the active ingredients, and we transport them side by side,” says Göran Conradson, CEO of Ziccum, the startup that created the new process. “Then, just prior to vaccination, you add the water again, and it goes immediately into solution.”

As explained by Fast Company, Ziccum’s process involves sending vaccines through a nebulizer inside a machine, creating tiny droplets that flow down a column. Dry air flowing outside the column brings the vapor upward so that the non-water portion of the vaccine can be collected in a filter. The resulting powdered vaccine can survive at ambient temperatures for more than a month.

While some freeze-dried versions of vaccines exist, Ziccum’s approach goes a step further, requiring no refrigeration. This not only makes vaccine storage more cost-efficient but also makes them less expensive to produce. According to the company, its new factory’s operating costs will require 80 percent less energy than freeze-drying.

Such factories could potentially be built within developing countries, where the problem with maintaining the vaccines at the right temperature is most acute. The technology could also make it easier to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, which need to stay incredibly cold to work.

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This technology turns vaccines into powdered form to keep them effective

After production, most vaccines must be kept at specific temperatures in order to remain effective. This can be a problem in the developing world, where cold storage of vaccines on a large scale isn’t practical. In fact, as much as 50 percent of vaccines are wasted globally every year, largely because of problems with temperature control.

A Swedish startup believes it has found an alternative that can overcome this huge logistical challenge: technology that turns any vaccines into a powdered form that can survive without refrigeration.

“Essentially, we separate the water from the active ingredients, and we transport them side by side,” says Göran Conradson, CEO of Ziccum, the startup that created the new process. “Then, just prior to vaccination, you add the water again, and it goes immediately into solution.”

As explained by Fast Company, Ziccum’s process involves sending vaccines through a nebulizer inside a machine, creating tiny droplets that flow down a column. Dry air flowing outside the column brings the vapor upward so that the non-water portion of the vaccine can be collected in a filter. The resulting powdered vaccine can survive at ambient temperatures for more than a month.

While some freeze-dried versions of vaccines exist, Ziccum’s approach goes a step further, requiring no refrigeration. This not only makes vaccine storage more cost-efficient but also makes them less expensive to produce. According to the company, its new factory’s operating costs will require 80 percent less energy than freeze-drying.

Such factories could potentially be built within developing countries, where the problem with maintaining the vaccines at the right temperature is most acute. The technology could also make it easier to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, which need to stay incredibly cold to work.

Solution News Source

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