Seattle-based PATH has been working on ways to improve the world's "cold chain," a long and fragile supply line that runs from manufacturers to villages and towns all around the world. Vaccines have to be stored and transported at a steadily cool temperature, and any variation in temperature--up or down--can easily destroy the vaccine's effectiveness.
"Every country we've gone into to look at this says they don't have a problem with it, and every time we look into it, we find they do," PATH's Debbie Kristensen told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
PATH's mission in life is to find cheap ways to come up with effective and cheap solutions to health problems, and they have found that there are some simple measures that work to guard vaccine stocks. They found that the commonly available food ingredients glycerin, propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol can protect vaccines from freezing. This kind of cheap antifreeze--which costs about a penny per 10 jabs--can work in the developing world as well as the U.S.
- check out the report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer