(224a) Life cycle assessment of vaccine supply chain in developing countries

Authors: 
Mousavi, B., University of Colorado Denver
Karunanithi, A. T., University of Colorado Denver

People in low-and middle-income countries are most vulnerable to environmental, climate change and health impacts. It is known that strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions indirectly result in wide ranging public health co-benefits. In particular, immunization supply systems in these countries are not optimized to reduce environmental impacts. For example, there are approximately 100,000 kerosene refrigerators that are in use these countries for vaccine cold chain storage resulting in annual GHG emissions of 82 million Kg CO2 emissions. This study tries to capture the total emissions of entire vaccine supply chain from cradle to grave. This supply chain includes vaccine manufacturing and packaging, transportation, cold storage and disposal phase. For each unit process there are multiple alternative technologies with different life cycle emissions. This study derives these emissions using literature data, commercial databases such as ecoinvent and EIO methodology. The emissions are translated in climate, health and ecosystem impacts using impact assessment methods. These results could be important for immunization policy makers for expanding the green vaccine supply chain.