26 November 2021

Ultra-cold chain freezers: boosting Indonesia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Indonesia, with a population of 270 million people, is the world’s fourth most-populous country. It is also the biggest island country on the planet. This combination of a large population spread across often remote, rugged terrain means that rolling out COVID-19 vaccines is no easy feat. However, UNICEF, on behalf of the COVAX Facility, has been…, Delivering at speed, In August 2021, UNICEF delivered 17 ultra-cold chain (UCC) freezers to Indonesia on behalf of COVAX. The freezers, funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, can hold a combined 3.5 million COVID-19 vaccines that require storage at up to -70 degrees Celsius. This delivery was to meet the urgent need for UCC capacity brought about by the welcome…, Putting the freezers to work, UNICEF’s procurement and delivery of UCC equipment is happening at extraordinary speed, and Indonesia was among the first countries to benefit from swift action. But there were installation challenges that had to be overcome after delivery. One of these was re-gassing the freezers, which had the refrigerant gas removed before air shipment could…, Immediate benefits, To date, Indonesia has received 5.4 million mRNA vaccines through COVAX, with more COVID-19 vaccine deliveries from COVAX expected by the end of 2021 and throughout 2022. The freezers, which will support vaccination efforts in 34 provinces, will help greatly expand access in cities, towns, and villages across the country, many of which are yet to…