DOH plans to have more cold storage facilities for vaccines

By Marita Moaje

October 24, 2020, 5:16 pm

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) is planning to have more cold storage facilities in the country for storing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines.

Ideally for the cold storage facilities, gusto natin na bawat region meron tayong mga hubs and kung possible sana per province (we want every region or every province to have a hub),” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during the Laging Handa public briefing on Saturday aired over state-run PTV4.

Vergeire said this is to ensure that vaccines maintain their effectiveness once it rolls out.

To date, the DOH is using the storage facility of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) as the national vaccine storage facility based on Department Order no. 2019-0174.

Vergeire said aside from the Covid-19 vaccines that the country is trying to acquire, there are still other existing or current vaccines used in the country that also needs storage facilities.

She said in case there would be a shortage of cold storage facilities, the DOH is reaching out to various groups to expand the storage facilities in preparation for the Covid-19 vaccines.

Vergeire said the current Covid-19 vaccines that are in the advanced stages in terms of testing have different requirements for cold storage.

She said some need to be stored under ultra-low temperatures and needs about -70 degrees cold storage facilities while there are also some with the usual temperature used in cold storage facilities.

Vergeire said it will still depend on the type of vaccine that will be approved before they determine which type of cold storage facility is needed. (PNA