US gifts Vietnam 34 more ultra-cool freezers for vaccine storage

By Le Phuong   March 4, 2022 | 02:52 am PT
US gifts Vietnam 34 more ultra-cool freezers for vaccine storage
Nguyen Vu Trung, Director of the HCMC Pasteur Institute (R), speaks with U.S. Ambassdor to Vietnam Marc Knapper in front of a ultra-cool freezer gifted by the U.S. to the institute, March 4, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Phuong
The Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute received 34 ultra-low temperature freezers from the U.S. Friday to store mRNA Covid-19 vaccines.

The machines are part of a U.S. Department of Defense pledge to give Vietnam 111 ultra-low temperature, medical-grade storage units worth approximately $1 million. Seventy-seven have already been delivered.

Of the newly-arrived freezers, the Pasteur Institute will keep six and the rest will go to Military Hospital 175, Cho Ray Hospital and the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) in 20 southern Vietnam localities.

Each freezer can store up to 175,500 vaccine doses at minus 20-80 degrees Celsius.

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper said at the handover ceremony that Vietnam and the U.S. have supported each other throughout the pandemic.

He said Vietnam had handed over millions of personal protective equipment when the Covid-19 was at its worst in the U.S. In return, the U.S. has supported Vietnam with ventilators and medical equipment worth more than $31 million in total.

Nguyen Vu Trung, Director of the Pasteur Institute, said that the institute and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were cooperating on global health security issues. In responding to the Covid-19 epidemic, the institute has received technical support from the U.S. CDC to deploy a key Covid-19 surveillance system and support pandemic investigation, he said.

The Southern Regional Emergency Response Center, established with funding from the U.S. CDC and the Department of Defense, has also played an active role in responding to the pandemic in the southern region, he added.

Since last July, the U.S. has given Vietnam over 26 million Covid-19 vaccine doses through the Covax facility.

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