Proving Actionable Insights to the Vaccine Market The global push to vaccinate children over the last two decades has saved countless lives. Yet, many of the newer vaccines that protect children and infants from life-threatening diseases and infections, such as for human papillomavirus, pneumonia, and rotavirus, are freeze sensitive and cost far more than other vaccines. For example, in 2015, UNICEF procured approximately $1.7 billion worth of vaccines for immunization programs, of which more than $1.2 billion were freeze sensitive. Yet, according to a literature review in the April 2017 issue of Vaccine, accidental freezing of vaccines occurs in 37% of storage facilities in lower income countries, and in nearly 20% of vaccine shipments - with limited knowledge of when, where, and why vaccines are compromised.
Parsyl, a private company, has developed a low-cost sensor, data platform and reporting system to provide donors, governments, health systems, and logistics providers with actionable insights to address the problem throughout each stage of the supply chain, including delivery and storage in remote "last mile" communities. In partnership with the Global Alliance Vaccine Initiative (GAVI), Parsyl is piloting the solution in Senegal and Uganda to demonstrate its effectiveness and ability to scale in the publicly funded vaccine market in a commercially sustainable manner. UP provided both a grant for piloting in the vaccine market and an investment to help build the company, both to serve this market and to achieve Parsyl's broader mission of improving the safety and performance of sensitive and perishable products by providing enhanced supply chain visibility.
Since UP's initial support, Parsyl has developed a first-of-its-kind insurance product for the delivery of health commodities in the developing world and secured backing for the effort from the U.S. Government.