< Back to Vaccine Storage & Handling



What is the Vaccine Cold Chain?

The vaccine cold chain is a temperature-controlled line of transportation and product movement from point of manufacture to site of administration and ultimately the patient. Vaccines and vaccine doses rely on the cold chain to maintain their desired storage temperature for maximum efficacy. In simpler terms, a vaccine cold chain is a network of cold storage and transportation options with temperature-modulating devices like dry ice, liquid nitrogen, cold rooms, refrigerators, and freezers working in tandem with logistics companies to keep pharmaceutical products at the optimal temperature from the manufacturing line to the patient recipient. 

Preserving and extending the shelf life of temperature-sensitive products is the priority of the cold chain. This is done through insulating, packing and transporting vaccines under the recommended protocol and ensuring proper conditions through temperature monitoring and product tracking. If the vaccine has an excursion from procedure or is exposed to warmer than recommended temperatures, it cannot regain its potency and will become ineffective. Keeping the vaccine at its designated temperature range is crucial in the cold chain process, creating potential challenges in remote or underdeveloped geographies where electricity supply is inconsistent.


What cold chain equipment do health centers use?

Different cold chain equipment is used depending on the type of vaccine and operation of the healthcare system. Cold rooms, freezers and refrigeratorss are used for central and regional stores. Advanced Therapy carriers typically use LN2 dewars, dry ice shippers and cold boxes to transport temperature-sensitive medicines and patient samples to and from health centers where health workers administer shots and therapies.


stirling-ULT freezers


At Stirling Ultracold, our freezers are cost-friendly, use less energy, and provide safe sample protection. The freezers we offer are:

  • Upright Model SU780XLE
  • Portable Model ULT25NEU
  • Under Counter Model SU105UE

Freezers for Biological Materials Storage

We offer the ULT25NEU which is the only truly portable ultra-low temperature freezer for sample storage available today. With its DC vehicle power adapter, it can be used to deliver safely preserved biological materials at the clinical point of patient care, across the globe. Any location where there is a power outlet, you can easily position prolonged storage of biological materials.

Cold Boxes

Cold boxes are insulated shipping containers that can be lined with frozen ice packs to keep vaccines and diluent cold. Each model of cold box is designed for the specific medicine and offers different vaccine storage capacities.


What Stirling Offers

Stirling Ultracold offers ultra-low temperature lab freezers for ultracold chain freezer farm storage. We are a leader in providing compact and portable ultra-low storage equipment that will keep biological materials at the correct temperature throughout the cold chain process and freezer farms support large volumes of biologics with plans to then ship smaller quantities to the end site of patient care. Our innovative ULT solutions help combat any challenges that may arise throughout the cold chain process.