The Philippines’ Department of Health said that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) can store at least 1 million COVID-19 vaccines that require ultra low storage.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the announcement a day after Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said the government is already talking to 28 firms for the storage of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“RITM has five ultra low freezers for COVID-19 vaccines which can accommodate -20 to -80 degrees Celsius storage requirement,” Vergeire said.
“Each ultra low freezer can store up to 230,200 doses or 46,240 vials,” she added.
The DOH official said that the department’s regional offices can also accommodate vaccine storage for two to eight degrees Celsius.
“We have this existing capacity of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius storage which can last up to three months,” she stressed.
The DOH said that the department also has enough transport boxes for the vaccine. However, it lacks enough refrigerated trucks to transport the vials.
The government expects the first batch of 50,000 doses of vaccine in February from Chinese firm Sinovac. AstraZeneca vaccines, meanwhile, are expected to arrive in May or June.
There is no timetable yet for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. (TDT)