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HOSPITALS & HEALTHCARE


THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT FOR VACCINES


Paul La Roche, HVAC Sales Director at Andrews Sykes, reviews the role of temporary climate control solutions in COVID-19 testing and vaccination centres.


If 2020 is to be known as the year where normality was abruptly halted, then we can only hope that 2021 will be remembered for society’s gradual return to past routines and familiarity.


Although the presence of COVID-19 is still very much being felt worldwide, there are encouraging signs for this year thanks to more robust testing procedures and the recent roll-out of an approved vaccination programme.


These latest developments have been billed as a ‘decisive turning point’ by prominent NHS analysts, who have cited Coronavirus as the single greatest challenge the healthcare body has ever faced.


Within a week of the vaccination’s introduction, almost 140,000 people in the UK had received their first dosage. As well as overseeing the designation of jabs, the government’s Vaccines Taskforce has also been under pressure to ensure there are enough practice sites to deliver inoculations to those most at risk.


30 | TOMORROW’S FM


Unsurprisingly, there are many aspects for consideration including the availability of suitable infrastructure, staff and quantities. Much has been made of the fact that Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored at temperatures of approximately -70°C, and the difficulties that come with adhering to the requirement.


A less prominently reported area of concern has been the temperature of the actual centre, from which the vaccines are administered. Given that a signification proportion of testing and vaccination facilities are temporary structures or converted buildings, there has been a widespread need to source climate control equipment to keep these areas safe and warm.


Like any medical environment, these applications require 24/7 temperature and humidity monitoring to ensure that optimum conditions are constantly instilled. Environmental controls are critical for the handling


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