Thermostable vaccines can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of immunizations by preventing temperature damage to vaccines (caused by exposure to high heat or freezing), reducing vaccine wastage, and decreasing logistical and equipment requirements as well as the costs of vaccine transportation and storage—especially at the periphery of the cold chain. Thermostable vaccines also have the potential to facilitate coverage gains by enabling vaccine delivery in remote areas beyond the reach of the existing cold chain. Additional benefits, such as improved vaccine safety and superior product formats, are possible depending on the stabilization methods used.
For more than a decade, PATH has conducted research on both the technical and commercial feasibility of improving the thermostability of vaccines. It has identified and evaluated novel vaccine formulations and processing technologies as well as investigated the economic, logistical, regulatory, procurement, and policy issues associated with development, licensing, and use of stabilized vaccines. Visit PATH’s website to learn more about its ongoing work in vaccine stabilization, conducted in collaboration with vaccines producers, vaccine development projects, technology companies, laboratories, and universities.
Vaccine Stabilization: Research, Commercialization, and Potential Impact (2011)
An article that discusses the challenges of different approaches to developing and producing thermostable vaccines.
Heat-Stable Measles Vaccine Produced by Spray Drying (2010)
An article that reports on the development of a heat-stable measles vaccine powder using a combination of unique stabilizers and mild spray-drying process conditions.
Featured PATH resources
Protecting Aluminum-Adjuvanted Vaccines From Freeze Damage (2012)
A fact sheet that describes how PATH developed a low-cost and straightforward technology for protecting aluminum-adjuvanted liquid vaccines from the irreversible damage that results from freezing.
Summary of Vaccine Stability Data (2012)
Two documents that provide the latest stability data for commonly used vaccines and current research on vaccine formulations and platform technologies.
Page last updated: February 2013.