31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Mar 04, 2022 / 20:26

Vietnam receives more US’s ultra-low freezers for vaccine storage

The addition of these storage units will greatly improve Vietnam’s capacity and flexibility for distributing and storing Covid-19 vaccines nationwide.

The US Department of Defense on March 4 handed over to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health 34 ultra-low temperature freezers to help the country safely store mRNA vaccines.

They are among 111 ultra-low temperature freezers which the US Department of Defense promised to provide Vietnam with a total value of around US$1 million. They will be sent to Ho Chi Minh City and several southern provinces.

The freezers will be sent to the Ho Chi Minh City-based Pasteur Institute, the Military Hospital 175, the Cho Ray Hospital, and the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) in 20 localities in southern Vietnam to support the country's ongoing Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

These freezers can reach minus 40-90 degrees Celsius and each freezer can store up to 175,500 Covid-19 vaccine doses that require extremely cold temperatures.

The US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper (left) and Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute Nguyen Vu Trung at the handover ceremony of the ultra-low freezers. Photo: Thanh Chung

Attending the handover ceremony, US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper said together with the US CDC and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Department of Defense has stood alongside the Vietnamese partners in the fight against the pandemic.

He said Vietnam had handed personal protective equipment to the American people when the Covid-19 was at its worst in the US. In return, the US has supported Vietnam with ventilators and medical equipment worth over US$31 million in total.

The US donation of the ultra-low temperature freezers today and the previous deliveries of more than 26 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, 100 ventilators, and other medical supplies to Vietnam mark an important step forward in the bilateral partnership in healthcare, Marc Knapper added.

The diplomat stressed that the US is committed to assisting Vietnamese people in combating the pandemic and lobbying for the delivery of more Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam until there are enough vaccines for anyone who wants to be vaccinated.

For his part, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute Nguyen Vu Trung appreciated the timely and effective support of the US Government for Vietnam over the past time.

He said that the institute and the US CDC are cooperating in global health security. For the response to the pandemic, the institute has received technical support from the US CDC to deploy a key Covid-19 surveillance system and support pandemic investigation.

The Southern Regional Emergency Response Center, established with funding from the US CDC and the Department of Defense, has also played an active role in responding to the pandemic in the southern region, Trung added.

Vietnam's Ministry of Health will urgently distribute these refrigerators to localities to ensure quality and timely prevent the pandemic.

Earlier, the first of 111 deep freezers for medical use provided by the US Department of Defense to the Vietnamese Government with a total value of about US$1 million were handed over on October 12, 2021.