The City of Manila has unveiled its own storage facility for the COVID-19 vaccines from various pharmaceutical firms, including the high maintenance one from Pfizer-BioNtech.
Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso and officials from the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team visited the facility at the 7th floor of Sta. Ana Hospital on Friday.
Moreno then stressed the importance of vaccination to end the still raging coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID-19 vaccination ang susi sa pagbubukas muli ng ekonomiya,” he said.
“Gusto ko na pong makabalik na sa trabaho ang mga tao nang panatag, makasakay na sila ulit ng public transportation nang komportable, magbukas ang mga negosyo, makagalaw na ang mga nawalan ng trabaho, makabalik na ang mga bata sa eskwela,” he added.
The refrigeration units currently deployed in the facility include:
- Five HYC-390 refrigerators for AstraZeneca and Sinovac vials
- Two -25°C biomedical freezers for Johnson&Johnson vials
- Two -30°C biomedical freezers for Moderna vials
Three units of the -86°C ULT freezers that can house the Pfizer vials are expected to arrive soon.
Palace had previously referenced the extreme temperature needed to store Pfizer vaccines in defending its preference for China’s Sinovac vaccine over it.
Manila’s storage facility is part of the city’s overall pandemic response that gained a positive response from National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementor Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., according to Manila’s Public Information Office.
“We have seen that the City of Manila is ready for the upcoming vaccination,” Galvez said in a statement.
Manila City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan was the one who presented the Manila COVID-19 Situation Report to the task force.
This include the construction of the vaccine storage facility and the deployment of 14 quarantine facilities and the free virus testing services.
The Manila City government had also previously conducted two mock vaccination exercises this month to help communities be familiarized with the process.
So far, Pasig City is the first and only local government in the country to have an approved COVID-19 vaccination plan by the Department of Health and the World Health Organization.
Several LGUs across the country, including the cities of Manila and Pasig, have already secured doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed to their constituents.
On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
Last January 21, the Department of Interior and Local Government urged all local officials to prepare their own vaccination plans for their constituents in compliance with the DOH guidelines on the National Vaccination Program.
“This COVID-19 vaccination will be the biggest of such program sa ating kasaysayan kaya ating hinihikayat ang mga LGU na ihanda na ang kanilang mga vaccination plan for we need this to be as smooth as possible sapagkat buhay ng ating mga mamamayan ang nakasalalay dito,” said Jonathan Malaya, undersecretary and spokesperson at DILG.