Vaccine Pods’ industry-first technology, powered by HCI Energy, boosts capacity and power for ultra-low temperature cold chain storage, enabling organizations to safely store and deliver COVID vaccines
NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Jan. 27, 2021) – Vaccine Pods today announced that it has launched from stealth, introducing an innovative new technology that revolutionizes the way that sensitive vaccines are transported, stored and distributed. Vaccine Pods provides pharmaceutical companies, government organizations and NGOs the ability to streamline cold chain logistics by directly shipping a container with the vaccine safely stored in an ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer that is powered by the container’s integrated power source. This innovation has global application and has the potential to save millions of lives. It is particularly vital to those most in need in rural areas and developing countries.
According to the World Health Organization, roughly 50% of all vaccines must be discarded worldwide each year due to improper handling and failed temperature control. Existing cold chain storage technology is expensive and uses conventional, inefficient power sources, making it costly and difficult to support large-scale distribution of vaccines from manufacture to patient inoculation. Moreover, many rural areas across the U.S. and developing nations across the globe lack any access to modern cold chain storage technology, instead relying on cardboard boxes and dry ice to house vaccines, leading to greater spoilage and leaving these populations at the highest risk.
“With recent COVID vaccine approvals, the life sciences industry, in conjunction with government agencies and supply chain partners, is aiming to deliver 300 million doses in the U.S. alone in early 2021. Depending on the manufacturer, these vaccines must be kept at temperatures between minus 20 to minus 86 degrees Celsius at all times. This has created a new and significant challenge that existing ULT cold chain storage technology is not currently equipped to support,” said Edward Collins, CEO and Founder, Vaccine Pods. “To help solve this public health crisis, we have engineered a cost-effective, energy-efficient technology that increases ULT cold chain storage capacity and power while working completely off the grid, enabling organizations to safely distribute more vaccines at reduced expense. Because of its cost savings and continual energy supply, this technology will not only help densely populated localities, but also rural areas and developing countries that traditionally have not enjoyed the same access to these resources.”
Developed in partnership with HCI Energy, Vaccine Pods created a power solution that leverages sustainable energy to minimize reliance on the electrical grid or fossil fuels. As a result, this power solution enables uninterrupted cold chain management and delivery of vaccines and future biologics anywhere in the world. This technology has been designed for use with Stirling Ultracold’s SU780XLE vaccine freezers.
“The industry is facing an unprecedented situation. COVID vaccines must be kept at extremely low temperatures, whether they’re in transit or being stored in a local healthcare facility. Supply chains face major operational hurdles to support the proper distribution of these vaccines at such massive scale,” said Dusty Tenney, CEO, Stirling Ultracold. “Vaccine Pods’ charging station technology is a gamechanger. It allows companies like Stirling Ultracold to ramp up capacity and accommodate growing energy requirements of our ULT freezers, guaranteeing that we can maintain vaccines at constant ultra-low temperatures until point of use. This is major step forward that will help supply chains meet the urgent need for COVID vaccines.”
Vaccine Pods’ power solution provides comprehensive visibility of storage freezers across the supply chain. These real-time insights include:
- Temperatures of freezers located anywhere in the world
- 24-hour monitoring of location
- Security and remote access permissions
- Solar array and deployment status with real-time weather tracking to deploy or retract the solar panels in the case of inclement weather
- Power system performance and status
- Fuel levels
Headquartered in North Kansas City, Mo., Vaccine Pods will continue to grow its staff, ramp up go-to-market efforts and expand its global reach in 2021.
“Vaccine Pods’ launch from stealth illustrates North Kansas City’s continuing emergence as a hub for innovation,” said Don Stielow, Mayor, North Kansas City, Mo. “The company’s mission reflects both the creative and generous spirit of our city. Vaccine Pods has developed a groundbreaking technology; what’s more, this technological breakthrough is intended to help save lives locally and across the globe.”
To learn more about how the company is transforming vaccine supply chain and to explore employment opportunities, visit www.vaccinepods.com.
About Vaccine Pods
Vaccine Pods was established in North Kansas City, Mo., as a solution to solve the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain deficiencies in cold chain management. The company recognized that current limitations to distributing the vaccine to rural areas of the U.S., as well as developing nations worldwide, would leave millions without access to the life-saving vaccines they need. Founder and CEO Edward Collins, a retired Battalion Chief with the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department, dug deep into his rolodex and, with the assistance of friends and family, HCI Energy and Stirling Ultracold, put together a team to solve this problem. The end result is an off-grid power solution that can deliver vaccines at uninterrupted ultra-low temperatures while using green, sustainable energy sources.
About Stirling Ultracold
Stirling Ultracold, a division of Global Cooling, Inc., manufactures and sells environmentally sustainable ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers for the global market from its headquarters in Athens, Ohio. Powered by the free-piston Stirling engine, and the first in the U.S. to use 100 percent natural refrigerants, these upright and undercounter ULT freezers use less than one-third the electric power of standard compressor-based ULT freezers, as validated by the industry’s first ENERGY STAR® partnership for ULT freezers. The company also produces the industry’s only portable ULT solution available for vaccine storage and distribution, remote clinical trials and biologic drug delivery. For more information, please call (740) 274-7900, or visit the company’s website, www.StirlingUltracold.com.
About HCI Energy, LLC
Based in the Kansas City area, HCI Energy, LLC designs and builds turnkey power solutions that can be transported intact to remote locations needing clean and reliable power for mission-critical applications. Its success has been built on values of accountability, respect and technical competency. Led by founder Ray Ansari, long-time energy industry executive and an electrical engineer by trade, HCI Energy works diligently to find innovative ways to solve problems that affect individuals and industries across the globe. For more information, visit hcienergy.com.
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