Toyota Tsusho Corporation (“Toyota Tsusho”), Toyota Motor Corporation (“Toyota”), and B Medical Systems S.à r.l. (“B Medical Systems”) announced today that the vehicle with a dedicated refrigerator for transporting vaccines at the appropriate temperatures developed jointly by the three companies has obtained Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) prequalification for quality of medical devices and equipment as set by the World Health Organization (“WHO“). The company registered for the prequalification is Toyota Tsusho and this is the first refrigerated vehicle for vaccines in the world that has obtained PQS prequalification.
Vaccination is an effective measure against infectious diseases. General mandatory vaccines for infants usually require storage at 2 to 8°C, and cannot be used if not stored under proper temperature management. Although developing countries receive assistance from international agencies such as GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF for the supply of vaccines, approximately 20% of the volume supplied (equivalent to JPY 40 billion per year) are disposed annually because they become unusable due to temperature changes during transportation when distributing to hospitals and clinics within the respective countries, as the road infrastructures are inadequate and there is no proper means for refrigerated transportation. Each year, the lives of 1.5 million children are lost to vaccine preventable diseases (VPD) with insufficient effective utilization of vaccines being one of the reasons.
WHO’s PQS and Significance of Prequalification
PQS is a system for the qualification of medical devices and equipment by WHO that was established to promote the development of medical devices and equipment applicable for the United Nations’ procurement as well as to set quality standards. Medical devices and equipment which have obtained PQS prequalification also meet the equipment selection standards of agencies related to the United Nations and leading NGOs and charity organizations.
Also, it is easier for developing countries without their own qualification system for medical devices and equipment to receive support for transportation equipment procurement by using PQS as the qualification standard, and effective use of vaccines can be expected.
This initiative contributes to the effective use of vaccines, addressing a social issue in developing countries. At the same time, it has the significance of being able to demonstrate initiative in the field of global health transportation. In addition, this refrigerated vehicle for vaccines can now be used under the international framework 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 can also be expected.
Overview of Refrigerated Vehicle for Vaccines
The features of the refrigerated vehicle for vaccines which obtained PQS prequalification this time are as follows:
・ The base vehicle is Toyota Land Cruiser 78, which is equipped with the B Medical Systems’ CF850 vaccine refrigerator.
・ The refrigerator has a storage capacity of 396 liters, or 400 vaccine packages.
・ With its independent battery, the refrigerator can be operated for approximately 16 hours without a power supply.
・ The refrigerator can be charged by the vehicle while driving and from an external power source when parked.
Roles of Each Company
・ Toyota Tsusho uses the knowledge and awareness of issues developed through business in Africa to provide the refrigerated vehicle for vaccines as the company obtaining PQS prequalification.
・ Toyota provides the Toyota Land Cruiser 78.
・ B Medical Systems provides the CF850 vaccine refrigerator.
・ Toyota Tsusho Group company CFAO SAS and Toyota Group company TOYOTA CUSTOMIZING & DEVELOPMENT Co., Ltd. conduct vehicle installation and conversion.
“We aim to deliver Safety and Security”
For this project, Toyota Tsusho, Toyota, and B-Medical Systems, have joined forces with the same goal in mind. We will continue to make efforts so that the obtainment of PQS for the refrigerated vehicle for vaccines will contribute to the Safety and Security of the region.