With assistance from the private sector, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Thursday said that the government has enough cold storage facilities for COVID -19 vaccines that are expected to arrive next month.
“Kahapon po ay nag-ikot si Secretary Galvez at saka si Secretary Duque at nakita naman po nila na we have na sapat naman po (na cold storage facility) katulong ang private sector,” Vergeire said.
“We have Zuellig, we have Unilab na tutulong for their storage facilities,” she added.
Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the government needs third party logistics providers to increase the cold storage capacity for COVID-19 vaccines starting August.
DOH: PH has enough cold storage for COVID-19 vaccines
During the House Committee on Health’s hearing on the government’s vaccination road map, Duque said currently available facilities could only store vaccines that would arrive until July.
Duque added the Department of Health is in talks with third-party logistics providers that could manage, store, and distribute the vaccines.
The Philippines would need cold storage facilities with 2 to 8 °C, -16 to -20 °C, and -70 to -80 °C.
Duque said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and some regional hubs already have storage facilities with 2 to 8 °C and -16 to -20 degrees.
Due to the limited capacity, third-party logistics providers would store COVID-19 vaccines that would arrive for the rest of the year.
Duque said five units of ultra-low temperature freezers in RITM can accommodate over 1.4 million doses of vaccines that require -70 to -80 °C storage temperature.
The DOH is still studying to repurpose five more units of ultra-low freezers.