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B Medical Systems and Toyota introduce the world's first WHO prequalified refrigerated vehicle  

B Medical Systems and Toyota introduce the world's first WHO prequalified refrigerated vehicle  

B Medical Systems, a global leader in the vaccine cold chain industry, Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC), and Toyota Motor Corporation has announced the launch of their jointly developed refrigerated vaccine transport vehicle which also has Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) prequalification from the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the first-ever refrigerated vehicle in the world to obtain a WHO PQS prequalification and can be used for reliably transporting vaccines or any other specimens in a 2-8 °C temperature range. 

The successful rollout of immunization programs depends on the quality of the vaccine supply chain and the ability to provide a cold chain until the last mile. However, with several health centres located in extremely remote, rural, hostile terrains with minimal road infrastructure, delivering an end-to-end cold chain can be challenging. Toyota Tsusho Corporation and B Medical Systems have co-developed a refrigerated vehicle that can reliably transport vaccines to the last mile even in the most remote corners of the world. 

The refrigerated vehicle has a B Medical Systems vaccine refrigerator with a storage capacity of 396L incorporated into a Toyota Land Cruiser 78. The vaccine refrigerator is powered via the vehicle while in motion and can also be powered by an external regular electric supply when parked. The vehicle provides almost a day's autonomy, in the absence of any power supply. This solution also has temperature loggers that provide an overview of the storage conditions. The product brings together the legacy and expertise of Toyota Tsusho Corporation and B Medical Systems in the field of automobiles and vaccine cold chain, respectively. 

Luc Provost, CEO of B Medical Systems, said: "Last-mile has always been the weakest link in the vaccine cold chain. In several regions across the world, the last mile health centres are in remote areas that are difficult to access due to the terrain and infrastructure. We are excited to bring such a solution to the market along with Toyota. The refrigerated vaccine vehicle can easily travel through rough terrains and narrow roads delivering vaccines even to the most remote health posts, thereby ensuring an effective last-mile vaccine cold chain delivery. The design of the solution also ensures that none of the vials are broken during the delivery process, eliminating vaccine wastage, which is otherwise common in refrigerated trucks. We are very happy that the product received the PQS prequalification. The combined solution has the power to revolutionize the way vaccines are delivered until the last mile." 

Shigeru Harada, COO for Automotive Division of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, said: "We are proud of this innovative product. Powerful Land Cruiser's drivability and strong reliability of B Medical Systems' refrigeration system will strengthen and provide a unique solution to the mobility and transport of vaccines until the last mile. Also, this cooperation with B Medical Systems will enable to provide together a strong after sales services to the client ensuring a sustainable and safe operation with our refrigerated vaccine transport vehicle. We hope this vehicle will help to extend the immunisation services to reach the under-immunised and zero dose children and also to contribute to the Covid vaccines delivery." 

The WHO Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) process prequalifies products and devices so that member states and UN purchasing agencies are assured of their suitability for use in immunisation programs.  Countries across the world can now procure this solution for the reliable transportation of vaccines. Moreover, this refrigerated vehicle for vaccines can now be used under the international framework of COVAX, which seeks to distribute vaccines for COVID-19 fairly to developing countries, and its use as a means of transportation for COVID-19 vaccines is also expected. The companies have started the manufacturing of refrigerated vehicles and expect to ship the first batch in the coming weeks. 

B Medical Systems has consistently brought to market solutions that can solve the problems faced by healthcare professionals around the world when it comes to the storage and transport of vaccines. The company has to its credit several innovative solutions like the Health Centre Kit, Remote Temperature Monitoring Devices and solar direct drive refrigerator.

B Medical Systems is a global leader in the vaccine cold chain and has a legacy of more than 40 years. The company manufactures medical-grade vaccine refrigerators, laboratory freezers, ultra-low freezers and transport boxes that can store and transport any vaccine in the temperature range of -86 °C to 8 °C. B Medical Systems has been working closely with governments across the world to strengthen their national immunisation programmes, medical refrigeration and blood cold chain.  More recently, B Medical Systems has been working with governments across the world for the effective and efficient rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. Its recent projects include the COVID-19 vaccine cold chain projects in Luxembourg, France, Germany, Indonesia, USA and  Mexico.

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