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Covid Vaccines and IoT

Liz West on Flickr

If you live in a country that suffered a lot from the recent COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll know how much it rocked the world and how people had to stay indoors a lot more than usual. Fortunately, companies around the world made vaccines that could protect people from the nasty virus.

Unfortunately, some of the vaccines had to be kept in cold conditions to stop them ‘going bad’. We don’t mean shoving them in your fridge; we mean REALLY cold.

One vaccine, called Moderna, has to be stored between 5 and -13F. That’s about the same temperature as your freezer. Once it’s at its destination, it can sit in a fridge for 30 days before it goes bad.

Another one, called Pfizer (pronounced ‘fai-zer’) has a really demanding vaccine. It needs to be kept at -76 to -112F during transit. To put this in perspective, the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was -128.6F in Antarctica back in 1983. That temperature would make short work of a human, but the Pfizer vaccine thinks it’s nice and cozy!

Of course, we have the technology to store things at really cold temperatures. The problems begin when you need to store those items and also move them from one place to another at the same time.

This is the challenge people had with moving these vaccines around, especially the Pfizer one. The World Health Organization said that 50% of these vaccines arrive deteriorate on the way to their destination because of temperature problems.

Thankfully, this is where technology comes to save the day. It’d be hard for a human to sit with a crate of vaccines all day, constantly taking its temperature; however, we can get computers to do it for us instead.

Thats what Bosch did with its technology. It kitted out trucks with sensors that would keep track of the temperature of the vaccines within. These sensors then beam their data to an operations center, which keeps tabs of every temperate all day, every day.

That way, Bosch can make sure that the vaccines get to their destination without any problems. If a problem does happen, Bosch can spot it really early and recommend the driver of the truck to try something different.

The data is really important when the trucks have to deliver vaccines to hot countries like Chile, Peru and Colombia. The trucks will have to make the vaccines cold enough to counteract the sweltering heats outside.

At the same time, Bosch has to keep the data from being spied on. Bad people are keen to steal the vaccine so they can sell them on the black market for a lot of money, so Bosch has to keep the data safe from evil hands.

That’s what makes the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) so important. These little sensors are both keeping a close eye on the vaccines to ensure they reach their destination safe and sound while also protecting them from being stolen. Without these handy devices, we’d have a lot harder time getting anything done!

Learn More

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