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Category: Appliances, Innovation Bonds

Specialized Polyurethane Coolers Aid in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

The rollout of several new vaccines in the fight against the coronavirus gives hope that an end to the pandemic may be in sight. However, distribution of some these new vaccines presents a challenge for manufacturers and medical personnel, as some doses must be stored at frigid temperatures to preserve their efficacy. To help the vaccines stay cool as they reach patients, polyurethane is playing an important role in assisting medical personnel in maintaining the viability of these life-saving inoculations.

Polyurethane as an Insulator

Frequent readers of this blog know that polyurethane is an effective and customizable insulator. The ease with which it can be manufactured in large quantities makes it a highly scalable solution. Today, many polyurethane manufacturers that generally work in cooling and refrigeration have turned their attention to the creation of storage devices, like specialized coolers, where COVID-19 vaccine vials can be stored. These coolers utilize rigid polyurethane foam, a common material used in major appliances like refrigerators and freezers. While in transit, the vials of vaccine stay safely tucked away until they reach their final destinations.

Forming the Cold Chain

Ensuring that the vaccine doses stay at optimal temperature is no easy feat. Participants at every step of the distribution cycle have integral responsibilities to form what has been dubbed the “cold chain.” This chain can be simple, consisting of only a few stops between the manufacturing facility and the patient. In other instances, the journey is far more complicated; forming a cold chain means creating a complex global network, spanning thousands of miles across countries and continents to reach patients.

Standing Up to Harsh Conditions

On these global journeys, specialized polyurethane storage coolers play an even more crucial role. Not only do they keep the vaccine vials stored at optimal temperatures, but they must also be durable, standing up to the rigors of long-distance travel and insulating the vials in all manner of harsh weather conditions.

Innovating Toward the Future

As production ramps up and distribution of vaccines becomes even more widespread, the polyurethane industry is scaling up as well to meet demand. Manufacturers of these specialized coolers also have begun to refine their designs to be even more durable, lightweight and energy efficient.