Twenty-six ultra-low temperature freezers delivered by UNICEF through COVAX are enabling Bangladesh to receive, store and distribute large quantities of COVID-19 vaccines that require ultra-cold storage, according to the UN agency.
Each of the 26 freezers can hold over 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, supporting administration of these jabs into districts beyond Dhaka.
In fact, the recent COVAX shipment of some 2.5 million US-donated doses of the Pfizer vaccine is made possible, thanks to this additional ultra-cold chain capacity.
“As more countries come forward through COVAX to ensure equitable access to the vaccines, increasing the ultra-cold chain capacity in receiving countries is of crucial importance,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF representative in Bangladesh.
“UNICEF, as an implementing partner of COVAX, will continue to support Bangladesh until the end of the pandemic. No one is safe until everyone is safe,” he added.
The delivery of 26 ultra-low temperature freezers to Bangladesh is part of UNICEF’s global target of delivering 350 ultra-low temperature freezers to more than 45 countries on behalf of COVAX.
This is an immense and unprecedented undertaking to develop national cold-chain capacities in order to accelerate the number of fully vaccinated people in the shortest possible time.
As of today, only 9 percent of the population in Bangladesh has been fully vaccinated, according to UNICEF.
COVAX aims to ensure equitable access to vaccines and supplies, particularly to low and middle-income countries.
“WHO highly appreciates COVAX for extending its support to the Government of Bangladesh,” said Dr Bardan Jung Rana, WHO Country Representative.
“Ensuring global access to Covid-19 vaccines offers the best hope to slow down the pandemic, save lives and secure the world economic recovery. Each of these freezers will play a key role in improving the country’s ultra-low cold chain vaccine storage capacity. Ensuring that vaccines reach everybody, everywhere is the top priority and a critical step towards health for all. We cannot afford to leave anyone behind,” he added.
Vaccines and supplies through the COVAX facility to low- and middle-income countries, including Bangladesh, are generously supported both by donor pledges and by direct donations.
UNICEF and WHO call on the continued and greater support to COVAX from donors and from countries that have already achieved high coverage.
Source: United News of Bangladesh