The refrigerators will be delivered to district health facilities in 23 provinces in Central Highlands and Southern Viet Nam where they will store vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines.
The delivery is a part of ongoing support designed to further strengthen the health system, in particular the Expanded Immunization Programme, contributing on this occasion to ensuring that the cold chain for vaccine storage is in place across the country, so that vaccines are stored safely at exactly the right temperature.
Gavi, a long time global partner to UNICEF, works to create equal access to underused vaccines for children, especially those living in the world’s poorest countries. In this pandemic era, it is a leading organization and a crucial pillar in the COVAX facility, raising funding for and supporting the creation, production and equitable distribution of vaccines to especially the poorest countries.
“We do hope that this new set of cold chain equipment will contribute to the strengthening of the EPI programme especially in regions where we observe a lower immunisation coverage” said Véronique maeva Fages from Gavi. “This delivery comes at the right time to support the Covid-19 vaccine deployment efforts, noting that additional cold chain support is scheduled for later in the year, as part of dedicated Covax funding” she added.
“UNICEF is delighted to join hands with GAVI beyond our shared commitment to the COVAX facility, on the provision of these fridges to the Expanded Immunization Programme including the COVID 19 vaccination efforts in Viet Nam. UNICEF has worked with the Ministry of Health to assess ‘cold chain’ capacity identifying where new fridges, freezers, refrigerator trucks and cold boxes are needed for the safe transportation and storage of vaccines. This is important for the safe rollout of COVID 19 vaccines as well as for the regular life-saving vaccines that are crucial for every child,” said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Viet Nam Representative.
This shipment, brings the specially produced Vaccine refrigerator TCW 4000 AC, manufactured by B Medical in Luxembourg with green technology for very low power consumption and environmentally friendly, which can maintain cold conditions for vaccines that must be stored at a temperature range of +2˚C to +8˚C, even when power failure occurs for up to 8 hours.
The majority of vaccines managed by the Expanded Immunization Programme require this temperature range, and with a storage capacity of 240L, the refrigerators are an important contribution to district health facilities.
This model is supplied with an integrated remote temperature monitoring device with real-time alert for the continuous monitoring of sensitive vaccines. In case of a temperature deviation, it immediately sends a notification to the predefined person(s) in charge. The temperature status can also be monitored from distance through an online web portal. Importation steps are underway by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and when completed the refrigerators will be delivered to district health facilities in 23 provinces in Central Highlands and Southern Viet Nam.
“Over the coming period, UNICEF Viet Nam will provide to Viet Nam a range of vaccine related products – from more than 2,200 of refrigerators of different sizes to trucks and safety boxes, to tens of million syringes. It is a crucial contribution and only one part of a comprehensive support that UNICEF is providing as we join hands across Viet Nam with the Government, partners and donors to end the pandemic in this country”, Flowers added./.