Equipping further its local public health system, the Quezon City Government has inaugurated the QC Cold Room and Storage Facility which can store vaccines and medicines with controlled cold temperature requirements.
The QC Cold Room and Storage Facility is a 105 sqm facility equipped with a medical grade walk-in freezers consisting of 7 units (5.0 Horsepower) and 1 unit (3.0 Horsepower) Wall Mounted Unit Coolers capable of reaching 2 – 8 degrees Celsius and with negative temperature provision to cool and store COVID-19 vaccines such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac.
The room is equipped with a digital temperature control and monitoring connected with an alarm system to ensure the safety and quality of medicines. There are also chest-type freezers which provide more storage space particularly for medicines that require below zero temperature storage.
The facility can accommodate approximately 20,000 vials in Ultra Low Freezers (-60 to – 80 deg C), 10,000 vials in Chest Type Freezers (-15 to -25 deg C), and 100,000 to 500,000 vials inside the cold storage (2 to 8 deg C) depending in vial size. Storage duration is until expiry date.
Mayor Joy Belmonte regarded this facility as a valuable investment of the city’s public health system.
“This is a manifestation of how important public health is for us. We can say that we have come full circle in addressing this pandemic. From testing, isolating, vaccinating and now storing supplies of vaccines for longer shelf life,” Mayor Belmonte said.
The facility is the largest cold room and storage facility under the management and control of a local government. This will lead to easier transport of vaccines to different vaccination sites in the city.
Currently, the city government is in partnership with Zuellig Pharma for the storage and logistics of COVID-19 vaccines. But by the end of November, some COVID-19 supplies will be transferred to the QC Cold Room and Storage Facility.
QC Tax Force Vax to Normal Adviser Joseph Juico said that this facility has been created in accordance with the necessary requirements of vaccines and medicines.
“Unicef provided technical support to ensure that the equipment complies with the requirements fit for vaccine storage. From there, the City Engineering Department and City Architect Department focused its efforts in creating a medical-grade facility which can store medical requirements for long periods of time,” Juico said.
Dra. Esperanza Arias, Head of the City Health Department, expressed confidence on how this can further boost the health system in QC.
“This will greatly help us in storing the necessary vaccines including those that are part of the regular immunization programs of the Department of Health. While we have reached our target population already, the work in addressing COVID-19 does not stop until everyone eligible has been vaccinated, hence, we will continuously need a storage facility,” Dra. Arias said.
“Moving forward, this will help the city health prepare for any future emergencies or disasters due to emerging and re-emerging diseases with outbreak potential. So it is really an addition to the improving system of public health in QC.”
Over the past months, the QC government under Mayor Joy Belmonte has strategically addressed COVID-19 situation and established necessary infrastructure such as renovated hospital facilities, testing sites, isolation facilities, a molecular laboratory, vaccination centers, and a central pharmacy system.