Vietnam received last month 300 vaccine refrigerators funded by Japan and procured through UNICEF, the UN body said in a press release on Friday.
One hundred refrigerators arrived at Ho Chi Minh City Port and another 200 at Hai Phong Port in September, UNICEF said without providing a specific date.
The refrigerators will be delivered to 300 provincial and district health facilities in Vietnam, where they will be used to store COVID-19 vaccines for vaccination days.
The delivery is a part of UNICEF’s ongoing support to improve cold chain systems for Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Japan, a longtime partner to UNICEF Vietnam, has been assisting the Souteast Asian coutry in realizing children’s rights, especially during emergency situations and crises.
“This support is aimed at delivering vaccines to each and every person in all corners of Vietnam, which will complement efforts of the COVAX Facility,” Takio Yamada, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam, said while referring to a vaccine-sharing scheme co-led by the World Health Organization.
“Japan will continue to extend support to the Vietnamese efforts to deploy vaccines to every person in the country with a view to containing COVID-19 as quickly as possible.”
As part of the assistance to improve the capacity of health and immunization systems to efficiently and effectively administer COVID-19 vaccines, UNICEF has worked with the Vietnamese Ministry of Health to assess ‘cold chain’ capability identifying the needs for fridges, freezers, refrigerator trucks, and cold boxes for the safe transportation and storage of the jabs.
“Support from the government of Japan will help to ensure the cold chain capacity, which is crucial for the safe rollout of COVID 19 vaccination and for routine immunization,” said Rana Flowers, UNICEF representative.
“We are delighted to work with the government of Japan in this important activity.”
This shipment brings the specially produced vaccine refrigerator TCW 80 AC, manufactured by B Medical in Luxembourg with green technology for very low power consumption and environmentally sustainability, which can maintain cold conditions for vaccines that must be stored at a temperature range of two to eight degrees Celsius, even when power failure occurs for up to 72 hours.
All of the current COVID-19 vaccines administered in Vietnam require this temperature range at the vaccination sites.
With a storage capacity of 80.5 L, the refrigerators will be able to store vaccine doses for inoculation days.
This model is supplied with an integrated remote temperature monitoring device with real-time alert for the continuous monitoring of sensitive jabs.
In case of a temperature deviation, it immediately sends a notification to the predefined person in charge.
The temperature status can also be monitored from a distance through an online web portal.
The delivery came with one set of spare parts for every ten refrigerators.
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