204,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine were imported last month © Linh Pham/Getty Images
204,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine were imported last month © Linh Pham/Getty Images

Vietnam sets up super-cold supply chain for Covid vaccines

Vietnam is setting up three cold storage facilities to hold 3m doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The Ministry of Health has procured the services of the Viet Nam Vaccine Joint Stock Company (VNVC) to operate three super-cold storage facilities and transport doses.

The vaccine storage facilities will be set up in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Ha Noi. They will keep vaccines at temperatures ranging from –46C to –86C degrees using high-tech on-site and remote temperature monitoring systems.

Tran Thi Trung Trinh, quality control director at VNVC, said the three facilities, which consist of 30 super-cold freezers, can simultaneously store up to 3m doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to state media agency Thế Giới & Vietnam.

“We’re proud to be the first unit in Vietnam qualified enough to import, store, supply and distribute a wide range of Covid-19 vaccines for inoculation. The most decent manpower are deployed to operate the super-cold storage system in line with specific requirements,” she said.

Each freezer has a defrosting room with temperatures kept at –8C to safely thaw vaccines.

It will also transport the vaccines from the airport to storage using six refrigerated trucks.

Kim Khanh, director of VNVC, said the company had the capacity to provide 4m vaccine doses each month.

VNVC also operates 49 warehouses and two central repositories that keep vaccines at temperatures ranging from 2C to 8C, according to the Hanoi Times.

In February, the government approved the import of 204,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, marking the first batch out of 30m vaccine doses ordered from developers AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on the health sector to increase Covid vaccines, including making decisions on vaccine imports, identifying people for vaccination and coordinating finances.

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