Structural damages in adsorbed vaccines affected by freezing


This study was planned to evaluate structural damages in adsorbed vaccines affected by freezing using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray analysis of the elements. Randomly selected 42 vials of eight different types of WHO pre-qualified adsorbed freeze-sensitive vaccines from 10 manufacturers were included in the study. Vaccines were kept at 5 °C. Selected numbers of vials from each type were then exposed to −25 °C for 24 h periods. All samples were evaluated for their structure using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray analysis of the elements and precipitation time. Scanning electron microscopy of vaccines affected by freezing showed either smooth or rough surfaced conglomerates associated with phosphate content of the precipitate. These vaccines precipitated 2–15 times faster compared to non-frozen samples. Non-frozen samples showed uniform flocculent structure either dense or dispersed. X-ray analysis of precipitates in frozen samples confirmed that the precipitate is mainly aluminium clutters. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the lattice structure of bonds between adsorbent and the antigen is broken and aluminium forms conglomerates that grow in size and weight. The precipitation time of vaccines affected by freezing is 4.5 times faster on average compared to non-frozen samples. These facts form the basis of the \"shake test\".