Photo by Joey Razon/ Philippine News Agency

The government is negotiating with 18 logistics companies for the storage and handling of Covid-19 vaccines, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said on Thursday.

Galvez said the government would try to achieve “zero wastage” of vaccines.

“We are presently negotiating with 18 logistics companies with four companies with ultracold storage capacity,” he bared in a Laging Handa briefing.

“Ito po ay bahagi ng paghahanda ng gobyerno sa mga darating na bakuna which is to ensure that we have zero wastage, para makasiguro na ang mga bakuna ay makakarating sa ating mga kababayan, walang masasayang, walang matatapon at ang efficacy ay ma-preserve at ma-maintain sa kaniyang original state,” he added.

Vaccines, including those for Covid-19, require storage in facilities with set temperature levels. Should the vaccines’ storage not be monitored properly, they will spoil and lose effectiveness.

Pfizer’s vaccines, for example, must be stored at about -70°C.

But Galvez assured the public the country would have enough facilities to accommodate any vaccine.

“Ang konklusyon po namin, we have adequate cold storage capacity for all types of Covid vaccines ranging from that to be stored at 2 to 8 degrees, negative 20 as well as iyong mga delicate na negative 70 to 80 degrees centigrade,” he said.

The government on Wednesday started its inspection of Unilab’s cold storage facility, which can sustain temperatures of 2°C to 8°C, fit to store Novavax, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson and Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines. John Ezekiel J. Hirro