March 19, 2021

Solar Technologies Can Speed up Vaccine Rollout in Africa. Here’s How.

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

In developing countries, the effort to vaccinate even the most essential workers against COVID-19 has only just begun. The success of national distribution efforts depends on a functional cold chain, an uninterrupted system of storage, transport and delivery of vaccines at low temperatures all the way from national warehouses to local clinics and into the arms of people.

Keeping vaccines seamlessly refrigerated is an especially daunting challenge where electricity is unavailable or unreliable, write Rob Fetter, senior policy associate for the Energy Access Project at Duke, and Cyrus Sinai, a PhD student in UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of Geography. In a piece for The Conversation, Fetter and Sinai discuss how solar power could provide a solution to the challenges of energy access for health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa.