Solar Power to Distribute Covid-19 Vaccines
With the multiple vaccine distribution programs underway, many are hoping that the pandemic will finally come to an end. To date, governments are now starting to roll out vaccination plans across the globe in hopes of slowing down the virus once and for all.
However, mass vaccination is a huge feat to achieve. It is already challenging to move temperature-sensitive Covid-19 Vaccines from the manufacturing plants to the immunization sites, but it becomes more of a challenge when these vaccination points are off the grid.
A suitable cold chain is the answer to this concern. Designing the cold chain should begin on the same day that labs began developing the Covid-19 Vaccines. After all, we already know that sooner or later, billions of vaccine doses need to be transported across the world, and with this transportation comes the need for temperature-controlled storage units.
Unfortunately, not every African country have feasible cold chain networks to accommodate these temperature-sensitive Covid-19 Vaccines, resulting to up to 25% of spoiled vaccine supply.
This is where the power of solar energy comes into play. Since fridges need power to run and store Covid-19 Vaccines safely and reliably, PEG Africa and its pay-as-you-go solar-powered products play an important role in the vaccination process. The company, using the funding from Power Africa, a network of private and public groups set up by USAid, are beginning to supply off-grid health clinics with solar-power systems.
Gricd, a small Nigerian startup, is also aiming to bridge the last-mile gap from the local health centers to the vaccination points using its portable cold boxes. These boxes, which range from 15 to 100 liters, can be used in transporting the Covid-19 Vaccines to rural communities. It can easily fit into any existing transport medium, be it a bicycle, motorcycle, boat, or even the back of a person.