Today the first two of the eight refrigerators for storing COVID-19 vaccines in the ultra-cold regime (up to -80oC) arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
UNICEF Representative in BiH, dr. Rownak Khan formally handed over this donation from UNICEF to the Minister of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Ankica Gudeljević.
These two refrigerators, with a capacity of 500 litres that can accommodate 173,550 doses of vaccines , will be distributed to the FBiH Public Health Institute and RS Public Health Institute in Mostar and Banja Luka, respectively.
On this occasion, Minister Gudeljevic emphasized that the vaccines will arrive to BiH soon through COVAX facility and through other mechanisms and expressed her gratitude for UNICEF’s continued assistance, particularly, for this valuable and necessary donation.
In addition to this donation, UNICEF, as the leading agency with the longest experience in procurement of vaccines, immunization equipment and cold chain, ordered another six refrigerators for storing vaccines in the ultra-cold regime. These will be distributed to locations agreed with the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs and in accordance with the needs of the entity institutes of public health. These are refrigerators, with a capacity of 383 l and the possibility of storing 132,000 doses, which should arrive in BiH during February.
These refrigerators are primarily intended for the storage of vaccines such as Pfizer BioNTech, which must be stored at – 70oC.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been working hand in hand with the the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina to tackle the situation . Some of UNICEF’s support includes risk communication, ., guidance and essential supplies to the education authorities, mental health and psychosocial support for children , adolescents and families urgent procurement of protective equipment for the front line social workers , planning for vaccine roll out and procurement of vaccines and cold chain equipment. Globally, as selected logistical coordinator for the procurement of vaccines for COVID-19 through the COVAX Mechanism , we reiterate that vaccines are a public good and should not be reserved exclusively for the rich countries and individuals. Our common goal is to protect first the most exposed and vulnerable group and then the rest of the population.”, said Dr. Rownak Khan, UNICEF Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.