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, shipping and storage costs, and the potential for preparation errors at the point of use.
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 general work in vaccine presentation and packaging, and more specific work in primary container packaging.
Single-Dose or Multi-Dose? (2013)
An infographic that presents the differences between single-dose and multiple-dose vaccine vials.
Coverage, Cost, and Safety Impacts of Primary Container Choice (2013)
A report that details the tradeoffs involved in determining a vaccine's primary container.
Featured PATH resources
Vaccine Vial Monitors (2014)
A fact sheet about PATH's work on vaccine vial monitors, which are small stickers that adhere to vaccine vials and change color as the vaccine is exposed to heat.
Vaccine Presentation Choices (2013)
A handout about vaccine presentation choices, including a list of relevant resources and organizations.
Page last updated: April 2014.