Public-private partnership needed for COVID-19 vaccine logistics - PCCI
23 December 2020 - The daunting logistical challenge presented by the transport and storage of COVID-19 vaccines, which the Philippine government is set to procure needs a public-private partnership to ensure its successful roll-out.
Amb. Benedicto V. Yujuico, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest umbrella of business organizations in the country cited reports that the vaccines now in advance stages of development require meticulous handling and sub-zero cold chain infrastructure, which the country does not currently have.
“There are no facilities in the country that can handle -80°C. The lowest temperature our cold storage facilities can go down to is -20°C to 25°C. The same is true for refrigerated trucks,” Yujuico said.
Cold storage facilities and refrigerated trucks in the country meanwhile also handle mixed cargo - fish, meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables. There is the danger of contamination of the vaccines if co-stored in these facilities.
“We need dedicated transport service and storage spaces to keep the integrity of the vaccines. These require massive investment and coordination, a herculean task that cannot be done by government alone,” Yujuico said.
Expressing appreciation at the efforts of government to bring a vaccine to the country, Yujuico said PCCI is already consulting with industry players in the cold chain and supply chain businesses, transport (airfreight, shipping and trucking), and power generation, and is doing an inventory of existing facilities to step up the readiness of cold storage infrastructure and delivery logistics for the vaccine. PCCI is also consulting with its local chambers for possible vaccination centers where these facilities may be put up.
PCCI said government’s partnership will entice private sector investment in the cold chain delivery system.