Possible cold chain facilities for COVID-19 vaccine inspected

Government officials have already inspected cold chain facilities that are being considered for vaccine storage.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III first inspected the facility of Unilab Inc. in Biñan, Laguna.

The facility can store about 15 million doses of the at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees celsius. It can be used for the AstraZeneca, Sinovac, NovoVax, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

“Kaya ho natin ipadala ‘yan sa ano mang lugar sa Pilipinas. We will maintain the cold chain hanggang makaabot sa vaccination site,” said Jose Maria Ochave Sr., Vice President for Social Partnerships ng Unilab.

The storage facility needed for Pfizer vaccines at -70 degrees is colder or “ultra cold.” The requirement for Moderna is at -20 degrees.

There is a suitable cold storage facility for this and other COVID-19 vaccines in the government portfolio such as the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City and the Zuellig Pharma corporation in Parañaque City which the officials also inspected.

Zuellig is capable of storing up to 6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in its ultra-cold freezers.

Possible cold chain facilities for COVID-19 vaccine inspected

Up to 40 million doses can be placed in walk-in freezers and 629 million doses in cold rooms.

Facilities have a temperature monitoring system that alarms when the temperature drops.

The government is also confident that the country has adequate cold chain facilities when it comes to the vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“What we have seen suggests very strongly, that there is adequacy of cold storage facilities across 3 different temperature ranges. End-to-end supply chain is adequate, as far as our assessment today is concerned,” said Duque.

According to Galvez, the government is willing to spend no more than $ 2.50 (P120) per dose of vaccine when it comes to cold chain facilities.

Galvez also keeps his mouth shut when it comes to the cost of vaccines.

He is scheduled to hold talks with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and senators Panfilo Lacson and Bato Dela Rosa regarding details of negotiations between the government and vaccine manufacturers.