INDIA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named UL’s refrigeration laboratory in Gurugram, India, as a designated test lab for refrigeration equipment used for the storage of vaccines.
The equipment includes cold rooms, freezer rooms, solar-powered refrigerators and freezers, coolant-packs and related equipment. In addition, the WHO accreditation allows UL to carry out full quality assurance testing – on-site installation and commissioning – of cold room, freezer room and related equipment and coolants.
The accreditation for UL is part of WHO’s Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) process. PQS prequalifies products and devices in order that WHO member states and United Nations purchasing agencies help ensure their suitability for use in immunisation programmes.
UL will now be accredited to carry out the performance, quality and safety tests a product or device needs to pass before it can be added to the PQS database.
The UL accreditation comes at a time when researchers around the world are addressing the development of a Covid-19 vaccine. Producing and deploying enough immunisations to end the pandemic will be one of the biggest medical manufacturing efforts in history.
A reliable cold chain will be pivotal in the successful deployment of these vaccines. Failing to keep vaccinations at the correct temperatures can result in textural degradation, discolouring, bruising and microbial growth.
Todd Denison, vice president and general manager of UL’s Appliances, HVAC and Lighting Division said, “As billions worldwide eagerly await a COVID-19 vaccine, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations globally will be scaling up vaccine cold chain capabilities.
“Maintaining large quantities in an environment that preserves vaccination efficacy and provides patients with intended benefit will be key to eradicating Covid-19 spread,” commented Todd Denison, vice president and general manager of UL’s Appliances, HVAC and Lighting Division.
“UL is honoured to be recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of its accredited laboratories and play a key part in the overall protection of public health globally.”
With the WHO accreditation, UL will also test solar-powered refrigeration equipment based on new WHO product standards. Solar-powered refrigeration equipment is seen as critical for vaccine effectiveness in developing countries without a reliable electricity grid.