In August 2020, Heart to Heart International installed a cold chain cooler in its 150,000-foot-warehouse. This 1,200-square-foot cooler is large enough to store 1 million doses of flu vaccines and is the first of several cold and ultra-cold storage units HHI expects to install to continue to be an important partner in the storage, transportation and distribution of coldchain medicines.
What is cold chain? Prescription and over-the-counter medicines and vaccines that must be continuously stored in a restricted temperature range. This temperature control is critical from the time of manufacture to the moment of administration or vaccination. Excess heat or cold will reduce the medicine’s potency, increasing the risk that recipients will not achieve the health outcomes desired – meaning they will not be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases and medicines will not prevent disease or aid infections. The role of coldchain is to maintain the potency of medicines.
HHI moved into its Lenexa headquarters in the spring of 2019 and since then it has been embracing opportunities to expand its operations through the extra square footage provided by the new facility. Installing cold storage units creates a comprehensive coldchain storage partnership program with donors and recipient organizations. Through donations and grants, this new cold storage unit will increase HHI’s capacity to be prepared for the additional flu vaccines expected this winter as well as capacity to store the COVID vaccines when those become available.