Lorenzana: PH Navy, Coast Guard ships may be tapped for vaccine transport
MANILA, Philippines — Ships of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard may be used for the impending mammoth task of transporting COVID-19 vaccines across the country, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
During the interagency meeting on COVID-19 response on Monday night, Lorenzana told President Rodrigo Duterte that 14 navy and coast guard ships are equipped with standard freezers capable of storing and transporting vaccines.
Vaccine distribution could be one of the most complicated logistical exercises ever, due to reasons like the need for a stable cold storage facility, tracking of the vaccines, and determining sites for the administration.
Four Philippine Navy ships have freezers with temperatures ranging from minus 15 to minus 18 degrees Celsius. It has a total capacity of 5 tons, Lorenzana said.
“Pwede po natin gamitin ito pag nag-transport ng bakuna mula Manila at sa mga islands, sa Visayas at Mindanao,” he said.
Nine ships of the Coast Guard have freezers with a temperature of minus 20 to minus 25 degrees Celsius. It has an overall capacity of 526 cubic feet.
Lorenzana said the rollout of the vaccines was an important task: “Pag hindi natin ito na-plano ng mabuti ay baka masiraan tayo ng bakuna. Sayang po ‘yun.”
Military personnel will also start to undergo training for the administering of vaccines, under an agreement with Go Negosyo.
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