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Ukraine to receive $2.8 million worth of cold chain equipment to support COVID vaccination [EN/UK]

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UNICEF delivered the first batch of cold chain supplies procured with financial support from the US Government, to support vaccination sites across Ukraine.

Kyiv 25 October 2021 - The Ministry of Health of Ukraine in partnership with UNICEF, and with financial support from the US Government through USAID, starts an unprecedented upgrade to the cold chain for vaccines at the national level, in the context of COVID pandemic.

To meet immediate needs, a total of $2.8 million provided by USAID will be used by UNICEF to procure WHO-prequalified passive cooling equipment to ensure safe and efficient transport and temporary storage of vaccines for primary health care facilities and mobile teams.

The USAID donation will provide equipment to some 3,100 vaccination sites nationwide, including 1,034 sites based at primary healthcare facilities and nearly 800 mobile teams.

The equipment will include:

  • 5,643 cold boxes,
  • 8,100 vaccine carriers,
  • 197,730 ice-packs,
  • 27,486 temperature monitoring devices

The first batch of equipment arrived on September 30, and includes 2,700 vaccine carriers that can keep COVID-19 vaccines between +2 to +8°C.

This equipment can also be used in the future for routine vaccines included in the national immunization schedule.

“Every adult person in Ukraine has a chance to get a vaccination against COVID-19 today. We have enough vaccines to immunize 70 percent of the population by the end of the year. The Ministry is expecting to receive more COVID-19 vaccines in October-November. We are grateful to partners helping us ensure safe transport and temporary storage of the larger amount of vaccines we are receiving,” said Ihor Kuzin, Deputy Minister of Health, Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine.

“The U.S. Government, as the largest donor to COVAX, is proud to partner with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and the international community in this historic effort to rapidly scale up COVID-19 vaccines. This investment in Ukraine's cold chain system will help ensure that vaccination sites across the country can transport and store vaccines at the proper temperature. This will increase Ukrainians' access to safe, high-quality COVID 19 vaccines - and will strengthen the national immunization system," said James Hope, the USAID Mission Director.

“Reliable cold chain is a key to the success of any immunization program. Systemic large-scale update of the cold chain has long been on the agenda in Ukraine. At UNICEF, we are happy to support this important cause and grateful to the US Government for their valuable contribution that makes this update possible. The equipment we start delivering will serve the people of Ukraine in COVID vaccination campaign and will remain to support routine immunization”, said Murat Sahin, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.

To date, USAID has committed an estimated $10 million to support Ukraine’s vaccination efforts, and donated approximately 2.2 million COVID-19 vaccines directly to Ukraine through COVAX. USAID funds also support technical assistance and training of health workers in the transport and storage of vaccines, and are helping to expand nationwide communications efforts.

By meeting the most urgent needs, USAID's contribution is expected to complement investments from the World Bank, UNICEF, COVAX and the Government of Ukraine to upgrade permanent cold chain infrastructure for both COVID and routine vaccination in the future.

Support to strengthen the cold chain in Ukraine is part of USAID’s broader assistance to respond to and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 amounting to more than $50 million total since the outbreak began in Ukraine.

Media contacts

Nina Sorokopud
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Ukraine
Tel: +380503882951
Email: nsorokopud@unicef.org