Water treatment and vaccine development

2 min read
Jane Marsh discusses how and why water is such an important element of vaccines.
Jane Marsh discusses how and why water is such an important element of vaccines.

What does water treatment have to do with vaccine development? If we didn’t have access to clean water, we couldn’t treat diseases and illnesses. Jane Marsh, editor-in-chief of Environment.co which covers climate policy, renewable energy and conservation, takes a look a how and why water is such an important element of vaccines.

Dilution & stabilisation needs

The process of producing a vaccine requires various solutions and indgredients to construct formulas. These elements include sterile water, which scientists use to dilute vaccines. There are stabilisers such as gelatine in vaccines that also need water.  It’s clear that biopharmaceutical researchers need water purification systems to produce vaccines worldwide.

Relationship between health & sanitation

Countries with developed health care systems don’t usually have issues with vaccine development and patients who need vaccines can generally access them on-demand. This has played out rather differently regarding Covid-19 but, in general, those who live in developed countries can get a vaccine when needed.

It’s important to note that some other regions don’t have that luxury. Nations that have underdeveloped resources tend to lack clean water. There’s a link between health and sanitation, which means diseases will surface in areas with polluted water. The 4.2 billion people who don’t have access to sanitation management can’t fight illnesses as quickly or easily.

How to boost availability

Technology plays a part in how we increase water availability. The lack of available water seems like an ironic problem given that water makes up 70% of the Earth’s surface, but we can only use 3% of that and ice caps are included in that amount. Therefore, we need to find solutions to tap into more of that that 70%.

Desalination plants for ocean water offer one option. There are also smaller tools which can be used to convert water from polluted rivers into filtered water bottles for consumption. Initiatives also exist to repurpose rainwater.  It’s all about creative and straightforward ways to bring clean water to everyone.

Communities with inadequate sanitation tend to rely on others for help. The World Health Organization had to launch a dedicated initiative to guarantee all countries can vaccinate against Covid-19. If we want to ensure all individuals can access a basic resource like a vaccine, we must prioritise an even more important necessity: clean water.

Vaccine development requires water treatment

There’s an undeniable connection between health and sanitation and we also need clean water to create vaccines themselves. Therefore, we urgently need to make clean water available globally. This way, we can increase protection against diseases and illnesses.

This blog was supplied and written by Jane Marsh who writes about green technology and renewable energy topics and is editor-in-chief of Environment.co.