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WHO clears UL for vaccine fridge tests

ITALY: UL’s laboratory in Gavirate, Varese, has received World Health Organisation (WHO) accreditation as a third-party testing house for vaccine storage refrigerators and freezers. 

In addition, the WHO accreditation allows UL to carry out full quality assurance testing – on-site installation and commissioning – of solar powered refrigerator systems.

UL’s accreditation is part of WHO’s Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) process, which prequalifies products and devices for WHO member states and United Nations’ purchasing agencies to help assure the suitability of products and devices for use in immunisation programmes. A manufacturer certified according to the WHO programme is included in the WHO database, a resource used by those who need refrigeration equipment for a vaccination campaign. 

UL will now be performing the necessary tests to verify whether products satisfy PQS performance and quality.

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, producing and storing enough vaccines is one of the biggest medical manufacturing efforts in history. Some vaccines require storage in an environment as low as minus -70ºC, while adequate refrigeration levels must be maintained throughout manufacturing, storage and distribution to ensure their integrity. 

With the WHO accreditation, UL will 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.

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