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US hands over 36 freezers to assist Vietnam in storing COVID-19 vaccines

US hands over 36 freezers to assist Vietnam in storing COVID-19 vaccines

Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 14:27 GMT+7
US hands over 36 freezers to assist Vietnam in storing COVID-19 vaccines
Christopher Klein (L), Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, hands over ultra-low temperature freezers to Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong at a ceremony on October 12, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

The United States has transferred 36 ultra-low temperature freezers, part of a support package worth about US$1 million, to Vietnam to assist the country in COVID-19 vaccine storage.

The 36 freezers were handed over to Vietnam’s Ministry of Health during a ceremony at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) in Hanoi on Tuesday.

They were the first of 111 ultra-low temperature, medical-grade storage units that the U.S. Department of Defense had pledged to provide to Vietnam with a total value of approximately $1 million.

At the event, Christopher Klein, Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, praised the relationship between the two countries, stating that both sides have been helping each other to combat COVID-19.

Vietnam donated a large amount of medical supplies to the U.S. when the latter went through the worst period in the fight against COVID-19 last year, Klein continued.

Christopher Klein, Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy Hanoi, talks with Dang Duc Anh, head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, October 12, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Christopher Klein (R), Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy Hanoi, talks with Dang Duc Anh, head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, October 12, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

The best thing about these freezers is that they will greatly improve Vietnam's capacity and flexibility in distributing and storing vaccines across the country, he added.

Along with millions of doses of vaccines that have been sent to Vietnam, this support not only means to help a friend in need, but also gives hope in repelling the pandemic.

Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong highlighted the significance of the donation, considering it is a meaningful gesture for the Vietnamese government and people amid the current pandemic.

“A lot of vaccines have been coming to Vietnam, but the country still lacks proper storage and preservation equipment,” Cuong said.

An ultra-low temperature freezers is pictured at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, October 12, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

An ultra-low temperature freezer is pictured at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, October 12, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

The U.S. government has provided 9.5 million doses of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Vietnam via the COVAX Facility, the official continued.

Along with the vaccine support, the ultra-low temperature freezers will offer a great source of encouragement for the country to push back the pandemic, he added.

These freezers can reach -40 to -90 degrees Celsius, suitable for storing vaccines that require extremely cold temperatures.

Of the 77 freezers to be delivered to Vietnam, 14 will remain at NIHE for national-level distribution and 63 are being sent to regional distribution centers throughout the country.

The remaining 34 units will be given to the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City at the request of the institute.

An ultra-low temperature freezers is pictured at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, October 12, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

An ultra-low temperature freezer is pictured at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, October 12, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A bottle of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is taken out of an ultra-low temperature freezer at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, October 12, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A vial of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is taken out of an ultra-low temperature freezer at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, October 12, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

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