Zuellig Pharma Partners With The Vietnamese Government For Cold Chain Storage Management, Safeguarding The Quality Of Vaccines
A Memorandum of Understanding was entered into today between Zuellig Pharma Vietnam Ltd, the National Centre for Control of Vaccines and Biologicals, and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
Witnessed by the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long, this Memorandum of Understanding, titled “Project support: Enhancement of cold chain storage during vaccine transportation under the expanded immunization program in vietnam,” was an agreement to collaborate on a two-year project (from 2018 – 2020) to enhance cold chain storage during the transportation of vaccines under the Expanded Immunization Program in Vietnam. Also present were the Consul-Generals of Switzerland and the Netherlands, as well as the Centre Director for International Enterprise Singapore.
The Expanded Immunization Program, administered by the Ministry of Health since 1981, has been widely regarded as one of the most important national public health programmes in Vietnam, benefiting millions of women and children. One of the key elements ensuring the success of the program, as well as the vaccine efficacy and safety for users, is that it must meet requirements in cold chain storage for vaccines.
To maintain the efficacy and safety of vaccines, it is necessary to keep them at a constant temperature between 2°C – 8°C. Any break in this cold chain, from production, to storage, transportation, or usage could damage the integrity of the vaccine, resulting in reduced efficacy and safety in treatment.
The objective of the project is to ensure the efficacy and safety of vaccines and biologicals which must be stored in a cold chain during transportation to immunization locations in Vietnam. In furtherance of this objective, Zuellig Pharma Vietnam will closely collaborate with the National Centre for Control of Vaccines and Biologicals and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology on the following activities:
1. Assessment of existing cold chain transportation to provincial preventative medical centres.
2. Donation of packaging technology to extend the cold chain in the form of eZCooler units, that will improve Vietnam’s cold chain capabilities, and to ensure safe delivery to remote areas.
3. Training for the National Institute for Control of Vaccines and Biologicals and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology on good international practices regarding cold chain management, and the use of eZCooler units.
Mr. Doan Huu Thien, Director of the National Institute for Control of Vaccines and Biologicals, said: “I believe this project will bring significant benefits to the Vietnamese community as it enables safe transportation of vaccines to the provincial medical centres, which can be challenging given Vietnam’s climate and geographic conditions.”
Mr. Robert Kruit, Chief Executive of Zuellig Pharma Vietnam, expressed his delight, as this project allows Zuellig Pharma to share expertise and technology with the Vietnamese healthcare sector. He said: “The way vaccines are handled and managed is critical to the efficacy and safety of vaccines for Vietnamese people. We have been entrusted with handling drugs and vaccines from international and local pharmaceutical companies around the world for almost one-hundred years in Asia, and 18 years in Vietnam. We are very proud to be a part of this project with the NICVB and NIHE, and look forward to closely collaborating with the two institutes for years to come.”
The MOU that served as the initiation for the project, with a total sponsorship value of USD 600,000 (equivalent to VND 13.6 billion) was signed by Mr. Doan Huu Thien, Director of the National Institute for Control of Vaccines and Biologicals, Mr. Dang Duc Anh, Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and Mr. Robert Kruit, Chief Executive of Zuellig Pharma Vietnam.