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Galvez on cold chain facilities for COVID-19 vaccines: Walang magiging problema

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday expressed confidence that cold chain facilities in the Philippines, where possible COVID-19 vaccines will be stored, will be managed effectively.

During the Laging Handa public briefing on Wednesday, Galvez said they are already planning with a prospect vaccine distributor to secure these facilities.

“Palagay ko wala naman magiging problema kasi it’s a logistics issue na puwede natin planuhin within six months,” he said, without identifying the vaccine distributor.

Galvez said he visited on Tuesday the cold storage as well as the cold chain refrigerators in Southern Philippines Medical Center.

“Kung 2 to 8 degrees, wala tayong problema. May mga establishment na po tayo,” he said.

However, Galvez pointed out that the government is still in talks with various consortia to secure cold storage with -20 to -80°C temperature.

“Ang ano po natin ay ‘yung -20 at saka ‘yung -80. Marami na po tayong kinakausap na consortium na meron po silang facilities na -80 at -70,” he said.

The Department of Health has earlier said not all possible vaccines against COVID-19 will need ultra-low-temperature (ULT) laboratory freezers for storage.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire has said that while vaccines manufactured by certain companies such as Pfizer and Moderna will need to be stored in ULT freezers — which maintain temperatures lower than -40°C — other vaccine candidates may be stored in facilities at 2 to 8 °C.   —KBK, GMA News