In continuing efforts to support the Ministry of Health in COVID-19 vaccine roll out, UNICEF, with USAID funding, delivered the final shipment of planned cold chain equipment. This delivery strengthens Armenia’s National Cold Chain with 5 ultracold freezers, 205 freezers, and 110 refrigerators.
The ultracold freezers have a storage capacity of up to 300 liters for vaccines requiring ultra-low temperatures up to -86°C; meanwhile the freezers ensure vaccines and other medical products are properly stored at temperatures of -25˚C to -15˚C; and the refrigerators will keep the vaccines at temperatures of +2˚C to +8˚C.
USAID/Armenia’s Mission Director, John G. Allelo stressed, “A strong and enhanced cold chain that reaches primary health care facilities across the entire country is imperative for storing not only COVID-19 vaccines but also routine immunization vaccines. The delivered equipment will be installed where people get their basic health services and is critical to providing people and children with life-saving vaccines.”
“This essential support provided by USAID and UNICEF was in addition to the 80 refrigerators and 285 freezers delivered at the beginning of April and three walk-in cold rooms delivered in May. All the freezers and refrigerators are intended to be distributed to 250 primary health care facilities across the country. Cold rooms will be installed in Yerevan, and in Shirak and Vayots Dzor regions, enhancing access and availability of vaccines for all communities,” explained Lena Nanushyan, first Deputy Minister of Health of RA.
With USAID funding, UNICEF has also implemented awareness raising campaigns on COVID-19 and vaccinations. Further, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) USAID and UNICEF have trained over 5,000 vaccine managers and health providers (pediatricians, family doctors, and pediatric nurses) working in healthcare facilities to improve their skills and knowledge.
“The continued partnership between USAID, the Ministry of Health, NCDC, UNICEF and other national stakeholders is pivotal in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and in ensuring effective routine immunization, vaccinating those most vulnerable, especially children and women, to prevent, detect, and respond to future waves of COVID-19 and outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases,” said UNICEF Representative in Armenia, Christine Weigand.