RITM participates in COVID-19 vaccine delivery simulation exercises

MUNTINLUPA CITY—The Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH- RITM) participated in the full-scale simulation exercises of the cold chain and logistics management of COVID-19 vaccines on 09 February 2021, as part of the preparation for the rollout of the vaccination program for healthcare and essential workers nationwide.

The simulation started from the arrival of the vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 followed by the transport and delivery to the RITM cold storage facility. The RITM warehouse staff also simulated the storage, preparation for distribution, and the proper loading of vaccines intended for deployment to other health facilities.

“We believe that this simulation activity imparts a deeper perspective on how all involved agencies must brainstorm and collaborate into solving the real-time challenges to receiving, storing, and distributing the COVID-19 vaccines with utmost safety and efficiency,” said RITM Director Celia Carlos as she welcomed dignitaries from partner agencies and members of the media.

“By being able to inspect our processes and interact with a simulation model in action, everyone concerned gains both a significant understanding of issues that may arise, and the solutions we need to come up with together,” Director Carlos further elaborated.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, in partnership with the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) and the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) led the simulation exercises.

Department of Health Secretary Franciso Duque III, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, testing czar Secretary Vivencio Dizon, and other officials of DOH, IATF, NTF, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were also in attendance. Representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Zuellig Pharma, and Royal Cargo joined the activity as observers.