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USAID, UNICEF donate 590 vaccine refrigerators to Vietnam’s remote areas

USAID, UNICEF donate 590 vaccine refrigerators to Vietnam’s remote areas

Friday, June 30, 2023, 13:54 GMT+7
USAID, UNICEF donate 590 vaccine refrigerators to Vietnam’s remote areas
This image shows the handover ceremony for 590 vaccine refrigerators donated by UNAIDS and UNICEF to Vietnam on June 29, 2023 in Hanoi. Photo: UNICEF

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has received 590 vaccine refrigerators donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with UNICEF, as part of their support to further improve cold chain systems for routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in the country’s hard-to-reach communes.

“USAID and the U.S. government are proud to continue our strong collaboration with the government and people of Vietnam in jointly addressing the national and global challenge of infectious diseases,” Dr. Myat Htoo Razak, USAID’s senior global health security advisor, said at the handover ceremony in Hanoi on Thursday.

Dr. Razak said both USAID and UNICEF value the partnership with and commitment from the government of Vietnam, particularly the Ministry of Health and the National Expanded Immunization Program. 

The vaccine refrigerators -- HBC-80 model -- will be delivered to 590 remote communes in 12 provinces in the northern and central regions of Vietnam, according to a joint media release issued by USAID and UNICEF the same day.

The model can maintain cold conditions for vaccines that must be stored at a temperature range of two to eight degrees Celsius, which is required for the majority of vaccines managed under the National Expanded Immunization Program.

Each refrigerator, with a storage capacity of 61 liters, will be able to store enough vaccine doses for routine immunization and targeted COVID-19 vaccination in the communes.

These facilities are essential to ensure that vaccines are safely stored and delivered at the commune level, enabling children to be vaccinated as soon as they are due – instead of waiting to collect vaccines from a higher-level storage facility that is far away, said Maharajan Muthu, chief of child survival and development at UNICEF Vietnam.

He affirmed that UNICEF is committed to supporting the strengthening of the health system not only at the national level but also at the community level.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, which started hitting Vietnam in early 2020, USAID and UNICEF worked with the Ministry of Health to bolster communication campaigns providing useful information for the public, as well as to support the infection prevention, control, and response efforts. 

USAID said it would continue assisting Vietnam in enhancing the capacity of immunization systems in the coming time.

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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