Taguig inks deal with cold chain firm for vaccines storage

Taguig inks deal with cold chain firm for vaccines storage

MANILA – The Taguig local government unit has partnered with ORCA Cold Chain Solutions to ensure that it can safely store and transport its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines to its constituents once the life-saving jabs are delivered.

Mayor Lino Cayetano, in a news release on Saturday, said the partnership aims to ensure there is ample room for the city’s pre-ordered vaccines as well as enough to even store vaccines procured by neighboring cities.

“This partnership with a world-class facility is proof that Taguig is ready to welcome the incoming vaccines and is doing everything it can to secure the temperature and quality of the vaccines from end to end — from cold storage to delivery at vaccination centers,” he added.

The Taguig local government on Friday gave a sneak peek of the country’s first-ever world-class, fully automated cold storage facility. Cayetano along with the city health office and a contingent of key officials led by Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano visited the expansive 6,500-square-meter facility in Bagumbayan village.

It is also ready with the other components to ensure the vials can be transported from the storage facility to vaccination centers under controlled temperatures and with quality checks.

“Taguig is ready. We are steadfast in our pledge of immunizing all Taguigeños and ending this battle against the coronavirus. We have cleared the highest standards in disease surveillance, testing, and treatment, and we cannot drop the ball now. Vaccination is a crucial step in halting communicable diseases and this facility is necessary for us to deliver the life-saving vaccine from the laboratories to our citizens,” Cayetano said.

On Jan. 5, Taguig committed to allocating PHP1 billion to ensure its 1 million residents are vaccinated for free.

The mayor earlier announced that Taguig pre-ordered vials from biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and was in negotiations with other suppliers to complement the provisions from the national government.

The Covid-19 vaccines approved for distribution worldwide require refrigeration, a prerequisite that has posed a logistics challenge for many government units.

For instance, the AstraZeneca vaccine that the city pre-ordered requires fridge temperatures. Others, like Pfizers’ BNT162b2, need more intense sub-zero temperatures.

In response to this challenge, Taguig repurposed an ORCA Cold Chain Solutions cold storage facility, previously used to store items for pharmaceutical industries, supermarkets, food processing companies, and meat and seafood importers, among others.

The building has a 22,000 MT static storage capacity and can move 876,000 MT on an annual basis.

The facility is capable of real-time monitoring with IT software and digital technology. This will be a trusty and accessible apex for the point-to-point delivery system of Taguig as soon as vaccines arrive from both the national government and its own negotiations with various pharmaceutical companies.

“We are more than ready to deliver on our promise of immunizing our citizens against Covid-19 and, ultimately, ending an infection that has upended our lives,” Cayetano said.

He added that the city has been planning about the vaccines since September and have come up with a system that will ensure that every resident receives them.

“In the meantime, while we await the vials and vaccination, we have to continue cooperating with the city government and following the health and safety protocols. Until we have the vaccines on hand and the doses have been administered, we need to stay vigilant,” he said. (PNA)

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