USAID and UNICEF Support Delivery of Ultra-Cold Freezers for COVID-19 vaccines to Ukraine
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with support from USAID delivered 14 ultra-low temperature freezers for storage of Pfizer vaccines to Ukraine.
These freezers can simultaneously store up to 3 million doses of vaccines requiring ultra-low temperatures up to -86°C.
The national storage facility at the state enterprise UkrMedPostach of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in Kyiv will receive 10 freezers. The remaining four freezers will be delivered to Kharkiv, Dnipro, Lviv and Odesa for vaccine storage at the regional level for these and neighbouring regions.
"Our aim is to protect the people of Ukraine from COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. Vaccines remain the only efficient way to prevent the worst outcomes of the virus. We are doing our best to ensure uninterrupted access to vaccines for everyone willing to get vaccinated. The additional freezers will help strengthen our capacity to respond to the pandemic," said Minister of Health of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko.
"Today’s announcement of new U.S. Covid assistance to Ukraine demonstrates yet another way that the U.S. continues to stand behind Ukraine in the global fight against this pandemic, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the WHO. These 14 new ultra cold chain freezers increase national capacity to safely store this lifesaving vaccine, and build on our support through UNICEF to supply more than 3,100 vaccine sites with cooling equipment,” said James Hope, USAID Ukraine Mission Director.
“UNICEF continues to support Ukraine in the cold chain upgrade to help increase storage capacity for COVID-19 vaccines. We are grateful to USAID who make this very important progress possible. Support with ultra-cold freezers comes timely since Ukraine expects large amounts of mRNA vaccines at the end of 2021- during 2022. Preserving vaccines at required temperatures ensures they don’t lose their potency thus providing the best protection from COVID-19 for the people of Ukraine. Once again, I would like to urge everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you can - if you still haven’t done so”, said Murat Sahin, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.
In September 2021, UNICEF also delivered to Ukraine three ultra-low temperature freezers funded by COVAX.
In October 2021, UNICEF started delivering passive cooling equipment and temperature loggers to primary health care facilities to ensure safe and efficient transportation and temporary storage of vaccines and to mobile teams for their usage of vaccines during vaccination sessions.
This first batch of the passive cooling equipment was procured with the USAID financial support of $2.8 million.
To date, USAID has already committed an estimated $10 million to support Ukraine’s vaccination efforts, and donated approximately 2.2 million COVID-19 vaccines directly to Ukraine through COVAX. USAID funding is also supporting national communication and community engagement efforts to increase demand for vaccination, building the capacity of health providers to counsel on COVID-19 vaccination, and support for logistics and storage of vaccines.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 in Ukraine, the total USAID assistance to respond to and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is over $50 million.
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