Friday, 14 December 2018
  4 Replies
  5.4K Visits

Hi TechNeters!

It was brought to my attention by one of you that USC researchers have developed a new polio vaccine that doesn't require refrigeration. Check out here:

"By removing moisture through freeze-drying, researchers have created temperature-stable vaccines for measles, typhoid and meningococcal disease. But scientists haven’t been able to make a polio vaccine that retains potency through freeze-drying and rehydration.

Shin and his colleagues used two lab techniques — liquid chromatography and high-throughput screening — that allowed them to analyze a high volume of ingredients and formulations until they found one that worked.

Jung’s hope is that a foundation or company will take over the project to pay for human studies and bring the injectable vaccine onto the market."

So I'd like to pick your brain, if you allow me: do you consider it to be a breakthrough? 

Thanks and have a lovely day all!

Warm regards,


Thanks, Olivia, for sharing this very important information. For people that live in resource constrained nations, especially the tropical regions where temperatures are high all year round, this is a very cheering news, an important breakthrough to say the least. The amount of money that will be saved from procurement and maintenance of cold-chain equipment and vaccine wastage due to issues in maintenance of cold-chain would go a long way in scaling up immunization activities thereby improving coverages. The sum total of the advantages that will result from this important breakthrough promises to fast-track the polio eradication efforts in all countries presently struggling to attain that desired goal.

Thank you.

Dr. Sam C. Obasi,

NPHCDA, Nigeria

5 years ago

Yes, I heard the announcement too on BBC World News.

I support the motivation and interest of individual researchers and the media to anounce potential 'innovations' in a cryptic 'Breaking News' style.

In this case, as in many other releases I have read, is that the innovation is premature and vanishes as quickly as it appeared! In this case, I hope that the issues that I am about to list will be considered:

Freeze dried format is, I admit, being used in the manufacture of an increasing proportion of new vaccines. However, this format is to be avoided in the future when there is better choices because:

- Until there are vaccine delivery devices that administer powder directly in widespread use, the vaccine has to be re-constituted (mixed with diluent); 

- The reconstitution of dried vaccine with diluent at the point of use is hazardous and the procedure is slow;

- Oral polio drops are enabling us to eradicate the disease without an injection and injected, killed polio liquid will gradually take over without an additional injection;

- Although freeze drying can achieve higher thermostability in storage than some liquid vaccines, it is very heat sensitive once reconstituted and must be used within 6 hours;

- Freeze drying is an expensive process requiring long term investment by manfacturers and some loss of flexibility.

John Lloyd


5 years ago

Response from Anthony Battersby: 

I read it in New Scientist.
I agree with John and would add: does the freeze dried vaccine once reconstituted also allow the attenuated virus to pass via fecal/oral routes to other unvaccinated mice? If it does not, then the benefit of the live vaccine is lost.
The idea of conducting a mass campaign with house to house vaccination using an injectable vaccine is dangerous and completely unacceptable.
Is the diluent specific to the vaccine or can any water for injection be used? If the diluent, as with measles, is vaccine and manufacturer specific this adds complexity to the supply chain
As the diluent has to be refrigerated, there is no saving in cold chain.

Anthony Battersby
FBA Health Systems Analysts
++44(0)1373 830322

This is a great news. Hope that it comes through. This will ease management of cold chain and polio vaccine. 


  • Page :
  • 1
There are no replies made for this post yet.