Advent of vaccine storage equipment (VSE) has been a noble human invention that primarily encourages the production of innumerous vaccines worldwide since it provides a safe and secure storage for vaccines. The demand for safe and suitable storage solutions for vaccines were the key drivers for the emergence of the new industry and because of this industry, a wide range of vaccine productions are possible for different diseases.

The global vaccine storage equipment market is increasingly growing industry due to the wide penetration of infectious diseases across the globe, growing funding for R&D activities by several manufacturers, and advancement of innovative technologies. In addition, a rapid increase in government involvement in spreading health awareness, organizing immunization or vaccination programs, and funding in healthcare facilities represent a major driver for the growth of the market. However, factors such as stringent regulations of regulatory agencies, lack of availability in remote areas, and highly cost of vaccines are some existing challenges that can hinder the market growth.

Meanwhile, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated to boost the market growth since many pharmaceutical companies across the globe have been into a race to find a vaccine for the virus spread. Thousands of these companies are currently engaged to extensive researches on the pandemic and have also conducted numerous clinical tests of their vaccine candidates extensively in a search to find a cure for this highly infectious disease. This new development led to exert massive demand for new vaccine storage equipment to store their vaccine safe and effective for the tests, which is expected to drive the market significantly in the long run.

Vaccine storage equipment, because of its effective control of the vaccines’ potency, is widely used for various applications including hospitals & medical laboratories, pharmacy stores, and related health care institutes. Besides that, the development of the vaccine storage equipment market has been fueled by factors such as launch of new products, entering Merger & Acquisition, making partnership and collaboration, and expansion of production units in other areas by manufacturers.

Moreover, rapid rise in incidence of infectious diseases especially in developing countries and increase in global population are anticipated to spur demand for vaccines in the coming years. Observing the current market trend and its dynamic, Growth Market Reports estimates that the global vaccines storage equipment market is projected to reach USD 2,802.1 Million by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 15.4% during the forecast period, which was valued at USD 932.1 Million in 2019.

Understanding VSE

Vaccine storage equipment are laboratory devices such as refrigerators and freezers used to maintain and control the vaccines’ life and effectiveness; unlike other lab equipment, VSEs have specific storage capacity and temperature range. In short, vaccines can be stored in a desired condition and prevented from degradation by using VSE that will ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine. So, VSE is a proper cold chain, which is a temperature-controlled supply chain, that includes all equipment and procedures used in the storage, handling, and transport of vaccines from the factory to end-users.

Maintenance of vaccines at required temperature is crucial and one of the major challenges in health care facilities since a minor change in the temperature could completely spoil a drug. Errors in the handling of the vaccines and exposed to incorrect temperature result in the loss of vaccine’s efficiency, and as happened in many cases that vaccines easily gets deteriorated when they are transported from one place to another. To protect from such negative effects, drugs are stored in a VSE with providing the right temperature while vaccines are transported from manufacturing companies to other distributors.

Several manufacturers are offering different vaccine storage equipment with an aim to cater various needs of the healthcare facilities and for the treatment of different diseases. Depending upon the requirement of end users, vaccine storage equipment offer storages at different temperatures ranging from -86 oC to 65 oC and are available in different capacities for different medical purposes. Several live bacterial antibodies are stored at constant temperatures and these agents get easily deteriorated once they are exposed to temperature fluctuations (extreme heat or freezing temperatures). Since these agents are sensitive to external temperature, the effective of vaccines will reduce on patients once they are removed from the storage and exposed to room temperature.

A Brief Introduction of VSE Origin and its Development

While the global cold chain or VSE is relatively modern, the refrigerated movement of temperature sensitive goods dates back to 1797 when British fishermen used ice to preserve their fish stockpiles. In 1930, Frederick Jones designed and patented a portable air-cooling unit for trucks carrying perishable food and the Interstate Highway Act of 1956 enabled rapid growth of the cold chain industry.

Global efforts to eradicate smallpox and expand of its immunization programs in the 1960s laid the very foundation for the introduction of the vaccine cold chain. Such attempts to develop immunization supply chains pushed to establish a storage system to store vaccine cold during the transportation of the drug to the distributors. The main concern of the early days of the 1970s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO), was to reach to the people in remote areas.

Dr. Rafae Henderson was the most significant figure who brought a successful EPI which has brought life-saving vaccines to every developing country in the world over more than 40 years of its existence. By 1977, Henderson found himself at the WHO as program manager for the EPI and was the pioneer who designed the methods for the storage of the vaccines in an effort to expand immunization. This was the frontline of the effort to capitalize on the success of immunizing people in the developed world, by expanding it to those in less developed countries. The goal was to vaccinate all children worldwide by 1990 for six illnesses, including polio and measles.

With a technology advancement, the vaccine cold chain was deliberately separated from other medical distribution systems to assure timely access to and control of vaccines and injection materials. Later, the ideas around the technologies of storage evolved and impacted to the introduction of refrigerator equipment as well as the widespread adoption of novel high-performance vaccine cold-boxes and carriers after manufacturers realized the climate situation in tropical developing countries.

According to a United States (US) government report, the cold chain industry contributed to $56 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product and accounted for 67,000 jobs in 49 states in the year 2012. With the being the global leader in the development of efficient cold chain technologies and management processes, the country is currently capturing a large share of the global market for VSE. The invention of vaccine cold chain represents one of the world’s public health success stories and provides three priority lessons for future: the vaccine supply chain needs to be integrated with other public health supplies, re-designed for efficiency and effectiveness, and work is needed in the longer term to eliminate the need for refrigeration in the supply chain.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on VSE Market

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has shattered the global economy and affected almost every industry including global public healthcare as the virus spread across countries worldwide. One major impact of pandemic was the sudden closure of commercial production around the world due to the emergency lockdown imposed by governments of different countries. The lockdown led to the disruption of global market operations and supply chain of every industry, which has a visible impact on healthcare industry. Although the pandemic impact on the global VSE market are less affected as compared to other industries, the lockdown has caused various setbacks in their normal operations and manufacturing of their products for a short period of time.

The pandemic, which was originated in Wuhan province of China in December last year, has brought a drastic change in consumer behavior and demand, purchasing patterns, re-routing of the supply chain, dynamics of current market forces, and the significant interventions of governments. During this pandemic, many of the pharmaceutical companies have witnessed a rapid surge of their shares and received enormous funding from government and private organizations as they started their venture to find a cure for the disease.

One major development, which was observed during the pandemic, was that many vaccine manufacturers across the world have increased their research activities to find an effective vaccine against the coronavirus. As the virus spreads widely in every corner of the world, the vaccine manufacturing companies are relentless working towards finding a cure since the global demand for a vaccine for COVID-19 have exerted tremendous pressure on the manufacturers as well as healthcare professionals to supply the vaccine.

As the manufacturers produce more vaccines for clinical tests, they require greater storage capacities to store the vaccine safe and secure. The rise of demand for vaccines means the growing needs for storage equipment for the drugs of the manufacturers and healthcare organizations. The widespread pandemic is anticipated to boost the global VSE market growth in the long run since it has affected more than 30 million people across the globe until September last week. The market for VSE is expected to have a major growth in 2021 as many scientists and health organization including WHO predicted that the vaccine would be possible in the first half of the next year.

VSE Market Segmentation Outlook

On the basis of types, the market is bifurcated into portable and non-portable equipment. The portable segment accounted for 43.3% share of the global VSE market in 2019 owing to the higher adoption of the portable equipment for the transportation of vaccines. The portable equipment has advantages such as easier and more convenient for consumers to store the vaccines.

In terms of products, the global VSE market is segregated into refrigerators, freezers, and other equipment. The refrigerator segment is anticipated to expand at a significant CAGR of 15.8% during the forecast period as consumers find it easy to use refrigerators for the storage of vaccines, which is expected to boost significantly during the forecast period.

In terms of end-users, the market is classified as biopharmaceutical companies, hospitals, medical laboratories, and others. Among these users, the medical laboratories segment is anticipated to expand at a significant CAGR of 14.8% during the forecast period, as many companies are extensively focusing on developing new therapies and treatments for diseases by carrying clinical trials on numerous drugs and molecules. The other end users include retailers, distributors, clearing, and forwarding agents.

Regional Outlook

In terms of regions, the global VSE market is fragmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.

North America is currently contributing a significant share in the market and generated the higher revenue for the vaccine storage equipment market in 2019. The countries including the US and Canada are the key revenue contributors in the vaccine storage equipment market in North America, in which the US was accounting for a major market share. Increasing awareness about immunization programs among people, presence of major players in the region, and increasing prevalence of infectious diseases are the major driving factors that drive the vaccine storage equipment market in the region.

The growing amount of R&D activities for developing novel vaccines is mainly supporting the domination of North America in the global market. Several government and private organizations in North America are rigorously working to find new vaccines for various infections. Moreover, the presence of several leading market players in the region is expected to escalate the demand for the vaccine storage equipment over the forecast period.

Asia Pacific constituted market share of 23.2% in 2020 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 16.0% during the forecast period. Increasing prevalence of infectious diseases has led to the rise in the demand for VSE, thereby, boosting the growth of the market in the region. The Asian market is poised to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period owing to increasing government investments in the healthcare sector and improving healthcare facilities in the region. The rising focus of prominent players on the Asian vaccine storage market is another factor driving its growth. Furthermore, emerging countries such as India and China provide opportunities for market players to generate more revenue. Increasing communicable disease is also a main diver for this market in the region.

Europe dominated the market and accounted for a revenue share of 42.6% in 2019. Rising awareness about vaccination programs among people, increasing research on vaccines, rising prevalence of infectious diseases, and the presence of a large number of logistic providers with years of expertise in the region are the major factors driving the market in the region.

Competition Landscape and Development of VSE Market

Major players that are actively engaged in the competition of the global vaccine storage equipment market include Thermo Fischer Scientific Inc. (U.S.), Eppendorf AG (Germany), Evermed SRL (Italy), Haier AE (Japan), Helmer Scientific Inc. (U.S.), Panasonic Healthcare Co., Ltd. (Japan), American Biotech Supply Inc. (U.S.), Arctiko A/S (Denmark), Philipp Kirsch GmbH (Germany), Labnet International, Inc. (U.S.), and Cole-Parmer Instrument Company LLC (U.S.).

The market is highly fragmented due to the emergence of several domestic players that largely occupy key market share in respective region. The widespread technological knowhow of these products, easy availability, large volume business for vaccine storage equipment, and easy entry for new players into vaccine storage market contributed the market development.

The entry of emerging vaccine manufacturers, particularly in the underutilized vaccines market, has resulted in lower vaccine prices due to increased competition and higher production capacities for individual vaccines. A few emerging market manufacturers are also trying to expand their production to newer vaccines, which, in turn, is also expected to boost the demand for storage equipment vital for vaccine storage.

Some of the developments are as follows:

  • On June 9, 2020, Haier Biomedical installed a number of fridges and low temperature freezers to provide additional cold storage space for Cryoniss in Runcorn. Cryoniss offers a comprehensive storage service for ambient, +4°C, -20°C, -80°C biological samples, and liquid nitrogen phase vapor.
  • In October 2019, Helmer Scientific Inc. introduced the first medical-grade refrigerators GX Refrigerator. The GX Refrigerator provides advanced temperature control, noise reduction, and energy management. GX Refrigerator Solutions, operated by OptiCool cooling technology, incorporates a variable capacity compressor (VCC) and natural hydrocarbon refrigerants to achieve superior storage environment while promoting sustainability initiatives.

 

Conclusion

The global vaccine storage equipment is offering lucrative opportunities for the investors since the industry has a thriving business operation in the coming years. The optimistic outlook of the industry operation in the future is partly due to the extensive impact of the COVID-19 and its impact on the global economy to a large extent. Vaccines Storage equipment is the need of the hour as the manufacturers and healthcare organizations are looking for conducting more clinical tests for various infectious diseases including the coronavirus.