DOH plans to build cold storage facilities for possible vaccine

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) – October 25, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Cold storage facilities in the country are not enough to store vaccines against COVID-19 when they become available, the Department of Health (DOH) revealed yesterday.

“Aside from the vaccines for COVID-19, we also must have adequate cold storage facilities. But so far, there are not enough of these facilities,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at a press briefing.

Vergeire said the DOH is now in talks with a number of stakeholders “so we can expand our storage facilities in preparation for COVID-19 vaccines.”

On its website, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines cold storage as a “system of storing and transporting vaccines at recommended temperatures from the point of manufacture to the point of use.”

This is intended to maintain the potency of the vaccines.

“Ideally for cold storage, we want to have hubs or storage facility in every region. If possible, every region so that when we roll out our vaccination, we can maintain the effectiveness of the vaccines,” Vergeire said.

As of now, she could not yet ascertain how many cold storage facilities must be set up. She said it would depend on the vaccines that are in the market as the requirements for cold storage of vaccines also vary.

“There are vaccines that need ultra low (temperature) while others need negative 70 degrees. For some usual vaccines, 48 degrees is OK already. So we have to see the vaccines that will be available,” she explained.

Earlier, the government announced that the initial target for COVID-19 vaccination is 20 percent of the population, which now stands at over 109.5 million.

Original Content

Website Source