Google Deal to Strengthen Vaccine Cold Chain Equipment
Vaccines are highly sensitive to high and low temperatures, therefore high-performing and well-maintained cold chain technologies are necessary to ensure their effectiveness. The Vaccine Alliance Gavi’s mission is to help lower-income countries gain access to the necessary vaccine cold chain equipment, and thanks to a recent deal with Google, it will have more resources to do so.
The new partnership between Gavi and Google is aimed to help tech start-up Nexleaf Analytics, which will contribute tech development and analytical knowledge as well as lessons learned from years working on the ground in countries.
The startup uses a wireless remote temperature to trace vaccine cold chain equipment and collect data on its efficiency. The critical data is intended to empower healthcare workers in making educated decisions on their purchase of equipment. This is especially important because, according to a recent World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund’s joint statement, 78 percent of vaccine cold chain equipment in low and middle-income countries is either poorly functioning or non-functional.
Google’s contribution of $2 million USD, which will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be used to improve the efficiency and safety of vaccines by increasing cold chain equipment operating time, reducing running costs and improving temperature control.
With more than 30 million children still unimmunized, in large part because vaccines are unavailable, Nextleaf’s vaccine cold chain equipment is not only revolutionary but necessary. The start-up will collect data from every point of the health system, and make them readily available to workers in low-income countries. This easy access to key analytics will allow health system personnel to make the necessary adjustments and make educated decisions about the efficiency of the equipment.
The new collaboration is a part of Gavi’s INFUSE platform, which connects private sector partners and funders with high-tech innovators. INFUSE helps to find solutions to challenges that have led millions of children to not receive a full course of the most basic vaccines. The work is aimed to drive more impact at scale and ensure safe vaccinations for all.
– Mayan Derhy