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Toyota Land Cruiser 78 receives WHO’s approval to transport vaccines

(SOUTH AFRICA) – A novel development by the Toyota Motor Corporation and its partner companies could make a significant impact in the global fight against the coronavirus and beyond. The Japanese vehicle manufacturer created a customised Land Cruiser 78 vehicle that has refrigeration capabilities for transporting vaccines.

On Wednesday 31 March, Toyota announced that the vehicle, which is the first of its kind, obtained a Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) prequalification for quality of medical devices and equipment from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

TOYOTA LOOKING TO HELP DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DELIVER VACCINES TO THOSE IN NEED

The PQS system makes it easier for developing countries without their own qualification system to easily identify high-quality medical products.

“This initiative contributes to the use of vaccines, addressing a social issue in developing countries,” said Toyota in a statement.

“In addition, this refrigerated vehicle for the vaccine can now be used under the international framework COVAX, which seeks to distribute vaccines for COVID-19 fairly to developing countries, and its use as a means of transportation of COVID-19 vaccines can also be expected.”

THE TOYOTA LAND CRUISER 78, A LEAN, MEAN REFRIGERATED VACCINE MACHINE

Toyota collaborated with one of its subsidiaries, Toyota Tsusho and B Medical Systems, a medical equipment manufacturer based in Luxembourg, to create the customised refrigerated vehicle.

B Medical Systems’ CF850 vaccine refrigerator, which has a storage capacity of 396 litres — or 400 vaccine packages — was attached to the base vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser 78.

Toyota Land Cruiser refrigerated vehicle
CF850 vaccine refrigerator. Picture: Toyota

The refrigerator has an independent battery and can operate for approximately 16 hours without a power supply. However, the cold storage unit can be charged by the vehicle while driving and can also be replenished with an external power source when parked.

“For this project, Toyota Tsusho, Toyota, and B-Medical Systems, have joined forces with the same goal in mind. We will continue to make efforts so that the obtainment of PQS for the refrigerated vehicle for vaccines will contribute to the Safety and Security of the region,” said the companies.

BEYOND COVID-19, REFRIGERATED VEHICLES COULD REDUCE WASTAGE AND SAVE LIVES

Toyota noted that approximately 20% of the volume of vaccines supplied to developing countries are disposed of annually because they become unusable because of temperature changes during transportation and inadequate infrastructure.

“General mandatory vaccines for infants usually require storage at 2 to 8°C, and cannot be used if not stored under proper temperature management,” said the vehicle manufacturer.

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