Luxembourg-based medical refrigeration devices firm B Medical Systems on Tuesday said it has joined hands with Dr Reddy's Laboratories for providing reliable cold chain solutions for the pan-India rollout of Sputnik V vaccines.
Under the collaboration, the company will install several hundreds of vaccine freezers across the country for the national roll-out of Sputnik V vaccines, B Medical Systems said in a statement.
Sputnik V, an adenovirus viral vector vaccine, needs specialised storage and is required to be kept at a temperature of -18°C or below, necessitating the need for a more stringent vaccine cold chain, it added.
"Under this collaboration, B Medical Systems will offer its vaccine freezers that provide a storage temperature as low as -25°C.These units were dispatched by air cargo from Luxembourg to meet the immediate requirement," B Medical Systems said.
As a part of the collaboration, B Medical Systems' freezers will be placed across all major hospital chains in the country this week, it added.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"Sputnik V vaccine is highly thermosensitive and B Medical Systems is honored to be partnering with Dr. Reddy's in the roll-out of Sputnik V vaccines. We have worked closely with Dr. Reddy's to put in place a highly reliable vaccine cold chain infrastructure for this," B Medical Systems India CEO Jesal Doshi said.
The company's technology ensures that vaccines stored inside are not exposed to any temperature excursions and are maintained at their fullest efficacy, he added.
"Our remote monitoring solutions ensure that there is end-to-end traceability of the storage conditions," Doshi said.
Dr Reddy's had launched a limited pilot soft launch in May and will start the full-scale vaccine rollout in the coming days, the statement said.
B Medical Systems recently started its India operations and is ramping up its production to meet the significant demand for its cold chain products including vaccine refrigerators and vaccine transport boxes, it added.