Presentation and packaging
The way that vaccines are formulated, packaged, and labeled can dramatically impact the success of their use, particularly in low-resource settings. The number of doses per container affects vaccine wastage rates and cold chain space requirements. A decision to provide a vaccine in a freeze-dried format usually has a positive outcome in terms of enhanced stability, but requires that the vaccine be provided in two containers (one for the freeze-dried vaccine and the other for the diluents) with an added reconstitution step prior to administration. Minimizing the volumes of vaccine containers and packaging can help to reduce negative environmental impacts as well as reduce shipping and storage costs.
The handling, management, and use of vaccines are becoming increasingly complex as more new vaccines and related technologies become available. PATH is working to optimize the presentation and packaging for new vaccines through participation in the Vaccine Presentation and Packaging Advisory Group. PATH is also developing and advancing innovations in the formulation, presentation, and delivery of vaccines with which it is involved. Visit PATH’s website to learn more about its work in vaccine presentation and packaging.
Guidelines on the International Packaging and Shipping of Vaccines (2005)
A widely-used reference from the World Health Organization that provides guidelines for vaccine packaging and shipping.
Designing Vaccines for Developing-Country Populations: Ideal Attributes, Delivery Devices, and Presentation Formats (2010)
An article that discusses the importance of designing vaccines with traits that will minimize complications for immunization programs and increase the likelihood of successful adoption.
Featured PATH resources
Ingredients of a Successful Public-Private Partnership: A Case Study of the Landmark Vaccine Vial Monitor Partnership (2012)
A document that describes the partnership that created the vaccine vial monitor.
Vaccine Vial Monitor (VVM) Availability and Use in the African, Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asian, and Western Pacific Regions (2010)
A document that reports on a study of VVM availability and use in developing countries in four regions.
Page last updated: December 2012.