The Manila City government will construct a cold storage facility at Santa Ana Hospital and purchase 12 refrigeration units and 50 transport coolers
The facility and equipment will be used to store the incoming COVID-19 vaccines the city is buying for its residents
The Manila City government last January 4 signed a tripartite agreement for the advance purchase of 800,000 COVID-19 vaccines
The city government of Manila will construct a cold storage facility at Santa Ana Hospital to house coronavirus vaccines it will purchase for the city’s residents.
Manila City mayor Francisco Domagoso on January 11 also announced that the city government has signed the documents to acquire 12 refrigeration units and 50 transport coolers for the expected arrival of the vaccines over the coming months.
Santa Ana Hospital is home to the Manila Infectious Disease Control Center inaugurated last year to help handle COVID-19 positive cases in the city.
Moreno said the refrigeration units can store around 300,000 vaccines at a time and handle various brands.
The city government last January 4 signed a tripartite agreement with the Department of Health (DOH)/National Task Force Against COVID-19 and United Kingdom-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the advance purchase of 800,000 COVID-19 vaccines for the use of the city’s residents.
Aside from Manila City, various cities and provinces have also signed a tripartite agreement to buy COVID-19 vaccines.
The national government is also currently in talks with various vaccine manufacturers in different countries to secure vaccine doses.
These companies include China’s Sinovac Biotech, Britain’s Oxford-AstraZeneca, the United States’ Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc.-Arcturus Therapeutics, Russia’s Gamaleya, and Serum Institute of India’s Novavax.
The Philippines has also requested the World Health Organization’s Covax Facility, a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers, to ensure the COVID-19 vaccines reach those in greatest need.
DOH earlier said it plans to put up four cold storage facilities and two walk-in freezers in Metro Manila, as the metropolis will become the central hub for the storage of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
DOH undersecretary Maria Rosario said the agency is also planning to establish cold chain hubs in other strategic areas in the country for storing the vaccines prior to distribution to facilities. DOH is looking to have one cold storage each in Bicol, Cebu, and Zamboanga.
Vergeire said talks with the private sector on assisting in the establishment of cold storage facilities across the country are ongoing.
The DOH official earlier said they are eyeing cold storage facilities nationwide, ideally in every region, to ensure proper storage for COVID-19 vaccines.
Vergeire said the type of cold storage facility needed will depend on the type of SARS-Cov 2 vaccine to be approved. Different SARS-Cov 2 vaccines have varying cold storage requirements, from ultra-low temperature conditions of about -70°C to the usual temperature used for cold storage.
SARS-Cov 2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
DOH is currently using the storage facility of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine as the national vaccine storage facility. – Roumina Pablo