The Department of Health (DOH) officially appointed the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) as the National Vaccines Storage Facility on June 21, 2019 with Department Order no. 2019-0174.
RITM, through its Biologicals Manufacturing Division (BMD), Storage and Distribution Department (SDD), will take on the roles and responsibilities expected of a national vaccines storage facility, covering national, regional, provincial, city health offices, stakeholders, and other Institutions providing immunization services. All vaccines procured, donated to DOH, and produced by RITM shall then be stored and managed at the RITM Cold Storage Facility.
Prior to the appointment, all DOH vaccines (BCG vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine, Oral Polio vaccine, DPT-HepB-Hib vaccine, Inactivated Polio vaccine, Measles-containing vaccine, Human Papillomavirus vaccine, and Tetanus diphtheria toxoid vaccine) are being stored at RITM since 2004. It was deemed necessary by the DOH to designate RITM as the national vaccine storage facility. The activities of BMD-SDD had increased with the expansion of the Institute’s storage capacity to four (4) cold rooms and one (1) walk-in freezer, and through partnerships with international organizations such as WHO, UNICEF, and the Japanese government.
As the national vaccines storage facility, BMD through SDD, is expected to implement the national plan to strengthen vaccine and Cold Chain Management System; maintain, manage, and analyze national database on vaccines and immunization supplies; develop policies, guidelines, and tools for the management, storage, distribution, and transport of vaccines in coordination with DOH; and assist the National Immunization Program (NIP) in the conduct of trainings related to cold chain management.