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Ukraine has increased the ability to store vaccines at ultra-low temperatures – from 200 thousand to 6 million doses

3 December 2021

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine, together with international partners UNDP, UNICEF and USAID, continues to expand the capabilities of the cold chain for storing and transporting vaccines that require ultra-low temperatures, from -60 to -80°C. Such conditions are required by the Comirnaty vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech.

As of today, the capacity of the national logistics provider of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine “Ukrmedpostach” to store this vaccine has increased from 200 thousand to 2.3 million doses, of the country in general – up to 6 million.

“This means that Ukraine will be able to ensure ultra-cold storage of the vaccine that will arrive in 2021 and 2022. This was one of the terms of contracts for its supply to Ukraine for 2022-2023”,  said the minister of health of Ukraine Viktor Liashko.

To store the Comirnaty vaccine at the regional level, UNDP has purchased and installed more than 50 freezers in regional warehouses, which on average allow storing up to 40 thousand doses of the vaccine.  That is, the total capacity of regional warehouses has increased to 2 million doses.

Additionally, large regional centers (Dnipro, Odessa, Kharkiv and Lviv) will soon install freezers purchased by UNICEF, with the ability to store up to 200,000 doses of Comirnaty vaccine, which will allow storing significantly larger volumes of the vaccine in ultra-low temperatures and significantly simplify the delivery of the vaccine from the national level. Another 10 such freezers will be installed in the national warehouse.

This will reduce the dependence of regions on supplies from the national level, because now it will be possible to store more vaccines in regional warehouses for a longer time.

By the end of the year, Ukraine should receive another 7.5 million doses of the Comirnaty/Pfizer vaccine. Due to the fact that the country has proven its ability to transport and store large volumes of vaccine that requires ultra-low temperatures, it was possible to reach agreements with the manufacturer for the supply of another 50 million doses of Comirnaty in 2022-2023.