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San Juan City plans to rent cold chain facilities for the storage of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines that are expected to arrive in February, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

Mayor Francis Zamora said the city government is currently in talks with cold chain storage facilities in Metro Manila, as well as mobile cold chain providers for the storage and transport of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer.

“Since San Juan is just a small city and a relatively small population, we do not need to build nor buy cold chain facilities and equipment because there would be no use for this after we have vaccinated everyone. That is why we are looking at the option of just renting,” Zamora said Monday.

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“As for our San Juan City procured AstraZeneca vaccine, which we have already procured 100,000 doses, the requirement is only 2-8 degrees [Celsius]. We already have existing refrigerators for that,” he added.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. revealed on January 14 that COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Sinovac are expected to arrive in the country by February.

The COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by pharmaceutical firm Pfizer reportedly requires a storage temperature of -70 degrees Celsius.

“We were informed during our last Metro Manila Council meeting with Vaccine Czar Sec. Carlito Galvez of the possibility of Pfizer vaccines being allocated to Metro Manila LGUs. In preparation for this, we are coordinating with private cold chain facilities already,” said Zamora.

San Juan has already completed last week a two-day simulation of its inoculation program at the San Juan Gymnasium ahead of the arrival of the vaccines.

The city is also gearing up for a vaccine information and education campaign called “Ako ay San Juaneño, bakunado at protektado (I am a San Juaneño, vaccinated and protected).”

“Much as we want to make sure that every San Juaneño will be provided a safe vaccine, we would also want to make them aware and educated on the safety, effectiveness, and reliability of these vaccines. We want to assure them that these vaccines will help us in finally eliminating the dreaded disease,” the mayor said.

“One of our main goals is to further increase the number of constituents willing to be vaccinated so we will continuously educate our constituents, and disseminate information to alleviate their fears and to raise the trust and confidence of the people, especially with the type of vaccine, which has to be a vaccine of choice,” he continued.

As of January 18, there are 14,031 residents who have already signed up in the city’s pre-registration drive for its vaccination program, which was launched last January 6.

The mayor had earlier declared that he will be the first to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine that the city has procured, in a bid to boost public’s confidence and trust on the COVID-19 vaccines.


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