Protecting vaccines from cold

When outside temperatures soar, health officials work hard to keep vaccines cool during transport and storage. But sometimes these vital vaccines become too cool, suffering freeze damage that can affect their potency and diminish their ability to protect children from debilitating illnesses. Multicountry studies have verified that accidental freezing of vaccine occurs at alarming rates throughout the developed and developing worlds.

To solve this problem, PATH scientists turned to additives that protect foods, consumer products, and medicines from freeze damage. They soon discovered a way to incorporate the additives into vaccine formulations and protect common vaccines from the effects of accidental freezing.

In 2008, PATH placed the freeze-stabilization technology in the public domain, allowing vaccine manufacturers worldwide to access the approach. The technology has since been transferred to vaccine producers for use in two childhood vaccines. Adding only a fraction of a penny per dose, the breakthrough will allow them to protect vaccines that are vital to children’s health.


Arecor Limited

Aridis Pharmaceuticals


Indian Immunologicals Limited

Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics

Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc.

Serum Institute of India Limited

Spring Valley Laboratories, Inc.

University of Colorado

Photo: Umit Kartoglu.

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Health workers administer oral vaccine to an infant in Indonesia
Our efforts to develop freeze-stable vaccine formulations will help ensure that children receive fully potent vaccines.