Appliances company Godrej & Boyce, the flagship company of the Godrej group, has rolled out Made in India freezers that are designed to help with the COVID vaccine storage as part of the rollout in India, and indeed around the world. The Godrej Ultra Low Temperature freezer can maintain a precise temperature between 2 degrees Celsius and 8 degree Celsius, which is required for storing the Covaxin and CoviShield vaccines. These are the newest additions to the company’s portfolio of ultra-low temperature freezers for vaccines and medical supplies. Godrej & Boyce say that they are ramping up the production of these freezers, including the Godrej Ultra Low Temperature freezer, to as many as 30,000 units per year to meet global demand. These Made in India freezers will also be added to the global medicine cold chain to help with the COVID vaccine rollout. Medical Freezers which maintain -20°C are also being deployed for diluents and ice packs needed for the last mile delivery in the Covid vaccination drive.
So, how does the Godrej Ultra Low Temperature freezer work? This is designed on the operating principle that is the Plate heat exchanger, or PHE, as heat exchanger between the primary and the secondary compression systems. The temperature of the secondary system is lowered by reducing the standing pressure. Godrej says that safety systems are built-in to protect the secondary compressor in case of pressure build-up when it is not needed. “Features like (a) 2 step sealing & Internal separate doors to help avoid temperature ingress and (b) Oil recovery for secondary system for long running, boost the overall efficiency of the unit during operation. Furthermore, back-up systems like Liquid CO2 or Liquid NO2 ensure safety of stock stored, by maintaining a stable temperature for over 48 hours, in case of a power outage or an unlikely system failure,” says the company.
The Covishield vaccine is made in India by the Serum Institute of India and is developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Adar Poonawalla is the CEO of the Serum Institute of India and SII run the largest vaccine manufacturing plant in the world. The Covaxin vaccine, which is India’s first indigenous vaccine, has been developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV). Both vaccines do not need sub-zero storage temperatures and are stable at 2-8 degrees Celsius.
Godrej Appliances has also successfully piloted a mobile clinic in rural Maharashtra, which included running an ambulance with a vaccine refrigerator without needing a power source for three days. The temperatures in the refrigerator were monitored every 2 hours and complied with the required temperature norms. “Depth of coverage and sustenance of Covid-19 vaccination drive will be key to ward off further spread of the pandemic. Today, nations across the globe are facing challenges in running effective covid-19 vaccination programs. Inadequate cold chain equipment is one of the key challenges, which can lead to inefficacy of the vaccines and cost human health,” says Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd., in a statement. “Our medical refrigerators and medical freezers deliver the precise cooling temperature of 2°C - 8°C and -20°C respectively, needed for the vaccines being administered by India currently. Now, with our newly launched range of advanced ultra-low temperature freezers, which can provide a temperature of below -80°C, India will also have the storage solutions readily available, for other Covid-19 vaccines being deployed across the world,” says Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice President, Godrej Appliances.