Japan provides vaccination equipment to assist Thailand’s COVID-19 response and immunization programme
BANGKOK, 21 March 2022 – The Government of Japan, under the ‘Last One Mile Support’ initiative, and in collaboration with UNICEF, is providing high-quality equipment for vaccine storage and transport, worth some 25 million baht (approximately USD 750,000), to support Thailand’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that people in remote areas and regions most in need receive quality vaccines.
Through this partnership, vaccine storage and transport equipment is being delivered to hospitals and medical units across Thailand to assist the Ministry of Public Health with safely storing and transporting COVID-19 and routine vaccines to people, including in the most remote areas of the country.
These included 1,720 units of cold boxes, 1,000 vaccine carriers; and 1,000 units of temperature monitoring devices for mobile vaccination. With this equipment, health workers can deliver life-saving vaccines for on-site vaccination in remote villages, including Mae La Ka and Mahin Luang of Khun Yuam District in Mae Hong Son Province, and in southern border provinces, including Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.
In addition, 230 ice-lined refrigerators and 50 freezers are set to arrive in Thailand in the coming weeks to support the delivery of equitable access to the population throughout the country.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, the Government of Japan has supported Thailand’s COVID-19 response through several initiatives. In addition to delivering vaccine storage and transport equipment and other critical supplies, Japan has donated 2.05 million doses of vaccines and 868 oxygen concentrators in 2021.
H.E. Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health said “Amid this challenging time, collaboration between Japan and Thailand has become closer since the first COVID case reported in Thailand. The Government of Japan has provided oxygen concentrators to us and supported the COVID vaccines at the time when we had limited vaccine supply…I’m grateful to this contribution. This equipment will be allocated to provincial public health facilities all over Thailand including Bangkok. This is certainly essential for COVID response especially in remote areas and along the borders where vaccines, cold chain and other medical equipment are most needed.”
H.E. Kazuya NASHIDA, Ambassador of Japan to Thailand said: As a “Strategic Partner” and friend to Thailand, Japan will continue to extend support for the efforts of the people and Government of Thailand to build back better from the pandemic.”
Vaccines have saved the lives of billions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their delivery to all corners of the world is a complex undertaking. Vaccines must be continuously stored in a limited temperature range, from the time they are manufactured until the moment of vaccination. Temperatures that are too high or too low can cause the vaccine to lose its ability to protect against the disease, which cannot be regained or restored.
“Scaling-up access to COVID-19 vaccines is very critical at the moment,” said Kyungsun Kim, UNICEF Representative for Thailand. “With the generous support from the Government of Japan, we can help ensure that the vaccines are transported and stored at the right temperature even when delivered to remote areas, and that they remain effective when used. The benefit of the donated vaccination equipment will go far beyond the COVID-19 response itself, as it will support Thailand’s regular vaccination programme to help protect children from preventable childhood diseases all around the country.“
The equipment handed over today during a ceremony held at the Ministry of Public Health is part of Japan’s global contributions to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Under the ‘Last One Mile’ initiative, Japan has been contributing USD 1 billion to the COVAX facility and JPY 18 billion to UNICEF (equivalent to USD 160 million) to support countries around the world in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/thailand.
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