The Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has handed over ultra-low temperature vaccine freezers, fridges and cold boxes to the Ghana Health Service in Accra.
The Ministry of Health, led by the sector Minister, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu initiated the process when it became evident that the nation needed to deploy other vaccines that require ultra-low temperature storage that ranges from -83 degree Celsius to +8 degree Celsius.
These storage facilities include 58 ultra-low temperature vaccine freezers, 50 normal vaccine fridges, 3000 ice pack freezers and 300 cold boxes.
According to the Minister of Health, Mr. Kweku Agyemang-Manu the storage facilities cost eight (8) million dollars and will boost the country’s capacity for the storage of COVID-19 vaccines.
Mr. Kweku Agyemang-Manu disclosed that government is expecting to purchase the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at eight (8) dollars per dose.
“We are in the process of getting about 499.000 Johnson and Johnson vaccine around 8 dollars per dose. We are also expecting Pfizer to arrive, we don’t know the exact date yet all we know is that they are coming in August and we need to deploy the fridges and freezers as quickly as possible to all the sixteen regions so that if we receive about 1.2million Pfizer in the course of the month, each region can store some quantities to begin to begin to vaccinate. We will concentrate a lot more in the hotspot of Accra and Kumasi and look at some of the regions that will need this but the fridges will have to be distributed as quickly as we can”.
The storage facilities include 58 ultra-low temperature vaccine freezers, 50 regular vaccine fridges, 3000 Ice pack freezers, and 300 cold boxes.
The new storage facilities will help store vaccines that require very low temperatures, such as Moderna and Pfizer.
Handing over the facilities to the Ghana Health Service, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said the government’s quest to vaccinate 20 million Ghanaians by the end of 2021 is on course.
“We initiated efforts to procure more of the vaccines with end-freezers that can provide us with storage temperatures from -83 degrees centigrade to positive 8 degrees centigrade. In this case, we will be able to import any of the approved vaccines. The range of approved COVID-19 vaccines that will now be available to us will include Pfizer, Moderna, and the likes, in addition to what we already have in the country – AstraZeneca, Sputnik-V, and Johnson and Johnson which will soon arrive in the country,” he said.
The Minister said the fridges and freezers are state-of-the-art equipment and, among other things, are able to maintain their temperature for 10 hours if the power supply is interrupted.
He further urged the Ghana Health Service to speedily distribute the facilities across the country in all regions to help the country to store vaccines to continue with the nationwide vaccination exercise.
“It will be distributed across the country to all our regions. The arrival of these fridges and freezers will boost our immunization efforts, as more vaccines can now be deployed. I expect all those responsible to deploy them quickly,” he noted.
Mr. Kweku Agyemang-Manu added that government is expecting to receive about eighteen (18) distribution cold vans to support distribution of the vaccines.