Kurt Verlin
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This Toyota Land Cruiser Has a Fridge for COVID Vaccines

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Toyota Land Cruiser 78 with COVID Vaccine Fridge
Photo: Toyota

Toyota collaborated with B-Medical Systems to develop a special version of the Land Cruiser 78 commercial SUV — one capable of delivering COVID-19 vaccines. As vaccine production and distribution ramps up around the world, this new vehicle will help get the vaccine to remote parts of the world that may otherwise have difficulty accessing it.

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Notably, the modified Land Cruiser is the first vehicle approved by the World Health Organization for delivering the vaccine. Its key feature is an onboard, 14-cubic-foot refrigerator that can maintain the low temperatures (2 to 8 degrees Celsius) required to transport not just the COVID-19 vaccine but also other general mandatory vaccines for children.

The refrigerator is a CF850 unit provided by B-Medical Systems that can hold 400 vaccine packages. It’s powered by the Land Cruiser itself while the vehicle is running but also features an independent battery that provides up to 16 hours of additional power. This battery can be charged by the vehicle when driving or by an external power source while parked.

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As for the Land Cruiser 78, it has a 4.5-liter turbodiesel inline six-cylinder engine, a low-range four-wheel-drive system, and solid front and rear axles. It is famously capable and reliable and should be more than up to the job of delivering vaccines in areas of the world where road infrastructure is lacking.

According to Toyota, nearly 20 percent of cold-storage vaccines intended for children have to be thrown away because of temperature changes during transportation that render them unsafe to use. What’s more, every year, nearly 1.5 million annual infant deaths are attributed to vaccine-preventable diseases. Toyota’s new vehicle could thus make a real, meaningful difference in regions lacking adequate road infrastructure and refrigerated transportation options.