The United States (US) government, through the United Parcel Service (UPS) Foundation, on Wednesday donated ultra-cold chain equipment to help the country have the capacity to receive and store Pfizer vaccines.
The US Government plans to donate about 372 000 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to Malawi through the Covax Facility by September end.
However, Pfizer vaccine requires ultra-cold chain infrastructure to maintain potency at temperatures not above minus 80 degrees Celsius and Malawi does not have such kind storage facilities.
Speaking after receiving the equipment yesterday in Lilongwe, Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda thanked the US government for the donation.
She said the equipment came at the right time as Malawi battles the third wave of the pandemic.
Said Chiponda: “We cannot and do not take this generosity for granted. All the items meant for strengthening capacity in the management of vaccines, particularly Pfizer vaccines, will be put to the intended use,” she said.
On his part, US Ambassador Robert Scott hoped that their donation will enable the Malawi Government to safely receive, deploy, and minimise loss of the Pfizer vaccine and other public health solutions that will require ultra-cold chain storage in the future.
He said to complement the government of Malawi’s effort, the US Mission to Malawi has contributed commodities and technical and operational assistance as part of the US government’s plan for a coordinated global response to end the pandemic. Earlier this year, the US government donated 304 350 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to Malawi through the Covax Facility to improve availability of vaccines and contribute to an increase in the number of fully vaccinated people.