UNICEF supports strengthening Venezuela’s cold chain in preparation for vaccine arrivals through COVAX
As part of the global COVAX mechanism, UNICEF supports countries preparing to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Panama City/Caracas, 9 September 2021 - Venezuela received 693,600 vaccines against COVID-19 last Tuesday, September 7, as part of the first shipment made to the country by the COVAX Mechanism, of the total of 12,068,000 vaccine doses acquired. This first delivery of doses consists of vaccines against COVID-19 produced by the laboratory Sinovac Biotech and included in the emergency use list of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UNICEF and other partners have accompanied the Ministry of People’s Power for Health in the technical planning process for the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine, which included monitoring the logistical aspects for the deployment of the vaccine and its conservation.
In coordination with health authorities, UNICEF has supported national efforts to strengthen the cold chain, thereby storing not only routine program vaccines but also COVID-19 vaccines.
Since 2019, UNICEF has invested about USD$2 million in equipment needed to ensure that vaccines are properly stored and transported until they are administered to children and mothers.
UNICEF has also received additional funding of USD$16.5 million to ensure that vaccines are transported and stored at the proper temperature, both COVID-19 and routine immunization vaccines for children. With these funds, UNICEF will be able to procure humanitarian supplies and maintain vital equipment needed for vaccination campaigns, including:
- Procurement of 9 cold chambers,
- Purchase and installation of 100 freezers,
- Procurement and installation of 530 solar refrigerators,
- 34 stabilizers,
- 9 power generators,
- Purchase and installation of more than 40 continuous temperature monitoring systems,
- 550 isothermal transport boxes,
- 10,250 vaccine carriers,
- 24 ground vehicles for vaccination activities,
- 10 specialized vehicles for vaccine transportation,
- 10 vehicles for dry supplies transportation,
- 1 truck for vaccine transportation,
- 3 boats for safe vaccine transportation in waterway areas; and
- 5,000 temperature monitoring devices at the local level.
COVAX is a global collaborative initiative to accelerate development and production of tests, treatments and vaccines against COVID-19; along with ensuring equitable access to all countries around the world.
The goal of the COVAX mechanism is to ensure that people in all corners of the world, regardless of income, can receive coronavirus vaccines as they become available.
UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/lac.