This week the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) delivered 3 ultra low temperature freezers for storage of COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine to Ukraine under COVAX.
The freezers with temperature range from -40°C to -86°C, manufactured by Vestfrost, Denmark, are to be installed at the storage of the state enterprise UkrMedPostach of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
Procurement of additional ultra low temperature freezers allows to increase Ukraine’s storage capacity of the Pfizer vaccine, which requires ultra cold conditions of -60°C… -80°C, at national level.
*In the coming months, we expect weekly deliveries of almost half a million doses of Comirnaty vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech each, so we need more equipment for logistics chains. Ultra-cold freezers for vaccines will help us safely store this vaccine and protect more and more Ukrainians from the dangerous COVID-19. We are grateful to the partners who support us in this responsible process," said Minister of Health of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko.
“Reliable cold chain is essential to keeping vaccines effective. The introduction of mRNA vaccines, in the context of COVID, prompted many countries to upgrade their cold chain equipment to keep up with the new technology requiring ultra-cold conditions. At UNICEF, we are proud to be supporting Ukraine in this upgrade and would like to extend our gratitude to partners and donors within COVAX who make this possible, so that more vaccines can be stored at ultra low temperature while preserving their potency to protect the people of Ukraine from COVID-19”, said Murat Sahin, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.
In Ukraine, in-country storage and logistics of shipments of mRNA vaccines from COVAX, in accordance with the correct cold chain requirements, are provided by USAID.
Ukraine will also continue receiving COVID-19 vaccines under COVAX, an unprecedented global solidarity initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries. Up to date, 4,325,910 doses of vaccines by different manufacturers (Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca) have been delivered to Ukraine through COVAX.
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, as well as civil society organisations, vaccine manufacturers, governments of US, UK, European Union, World Bank, and others.