This is the strategy of the Ministry of Health to store and distribute covid-19 vaccines

Vanessa Pérez Díaz – [email protected]

There are several doubts that have arisen about the arrival of the covid-19 vaccines in Colombia, especially in relation to the process of purchase, storage and allocation of doses.

Faced with this, LR analyzed the document that the Ministry of Health and Social Protection delivered entitled National Vaccination Plan, in which a whole chapter is dedicated to explaining how the storage and distribution of this drug will be.

So far what is precisely known is that the National Government bought more than 49 million doses (10 million for Covax, 5 million for AstraZeneca, 5 million for Pfizer and 9 million for Jansenn) that will have a period of three months to its arrival: when buying directly from the pharmaceutical companies, the doses will be available in March 2021, while those of the Covax program will do so in June 2021.

The total amount invested in vaccines alone, so far, is $ 1.74 trillion as indicated in the Covid-Fome subaccount. This figure is a total of $ 2.66 billion that has been allocated to attend this health emergency, as indicated by Victor Muñoz, presidential advisor for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.

Regarding storage, the document ensures that “Colombia has a strengthened cold chain for the storage of biologicals that are part of the national vaccination scheme, guaranteeing storage conditions at refrigeration temperatures between + 2 ° C to +8 ° C “.

It is then a storage warehouse operated by the Ministry of Health with a total area of ​​2,084 square meters, located in the free zone of the city of Bogotá.

As explained by the Ministry, in this warehouse there are two cold refrigeration rooms with storage capacity for 44 million doses. Likewise, it has a freezing room for storage of packages
cold. In addition to this great winery in the capital of the country, there are 110 cold rooms in operation distributed throughout the national territory.

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“The Ministry has a nationalization and transportation contract that supports deliveries from the national level to the territorial entities under pre-established standards and using mostly air transportation, including ground transportation for nearby cities, where it is counted with qualified equipment for both storage and transportation “, they indicate in the document presented by the Ministry of Health.

And how do you define which departments or territorial entities can also guarantee the storage of the vaccine?

Colombia is obliged to purchase and install deep-freezing equipment in some cities for a batch of vaccines that must be stored at -20 ° C to -70 ° C. The city where these freezer rooms are installed must meet the following criteria:
– It must have a stable electrical connectivity of 100%.
– Dry ice should be produced at the site.
– Identify which ones have the highest concentration of the prioritized population in the urban area.

“To calculate the need for deep-freezing equipment required for the vaccine acquired by the country from the Pfizer laboratory, an analysis was carried out taking into account the quarterly deliveries agreed in the bilateral agreement,” explained the Ministry of Health. In this sense, the municipalities that meet the selection criteria mentioned above are: Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Medellín and Pereira.

It will be in these cities where vaccines are temporarily stored in a deep-frozen format and according to “installed capacity, delivery frequencies from the producing laboratory will be established.”

The Government explained that weekly deliveries will be made for the territorial entities. They added that the vaccines retain their thermostability under refrigerated conditions (+2 to +8) for up to five days.

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There will be two ways to deliver:

-The first is the arrival of the vaccine directly to each of the territories defined by the Ministry, which are those of the Pfizer laboratory.

-The second will be the vaccines that will be stored at the national level in the cold rooms of the Bogota free zone.

How will the vaccination be?

The Ministry of Health specified the following step by step:

  1. The prioritized population is identified in a nominal way through the interoperability of the information systems that the country has, and it is passed on to the health system insurers and the territorial entities to make the demand for vaccination services.
  2. The institutions that provide public and private health services that have the vaccination and emergency services enabled are identified. The list of said institutions will be known to the territorial entities and the EAPB.
  3. The EAPB assign each insured user the vaccination IPS in the municipality of residence or near the home. The territorial entities in the competence of responsible for the health of the uninsured poor population, will also assign the vaccination IPS under the same conditions as the insurers.
  4. The EAPB and ET deliver the bases of the population assigned to each IPS to initiate the procedure of scheduling the vaccination appointment and search for the prioritized population.
  5. The IPS receive the bases and begin scheduling the appointment, taking into account the vaccination strategy defined at each stage. For health professionals, vaccination will be done directly in clinics and hospitals.
  6. The IPS informs each EAPB and territorial entity of the appointment assigned so that the MY COVID-19 VACCINE platform is updated by the insurers and allows individual consultation of the population.
  7. Once the data has been included in the MIVACUNA COVID19 platform, the population can make the query through the hotlines, website and access the ABC of covid-19 vaccination. If you meet the criteria for vaccination, review and remember the appointment assigned by the IPS, access the informed consent which you must present at the time of vaccination, and attend the vaccination on time.
  8. Vaccination is carried out, complying with strict biosecurity conditions in fixed or mobile posts.
  9. The PAIWEB application will be used for the nominal registration of vaccinated persons and for the identification of the applied vaccine. Likewise, the scheduling and programming of the second dose will be carried out.

It is important to remember the groups that were defined for the first stage of vaccination according to the vulnerable populations identified:

There will be two phases of the process. In the first phase, according to the Ministry of Health, priority is given to reducing specific mortality and the number of serious cases that require more complex healthcare.

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“With stages 1 and 2 (which are planned very close in time), the population over 60 years old and human talent in health would be covered, with the prerogative of the first line of care. In stage 3, but still in the first phase will consider the population between 16 and 59 years old with comorbidities or conditions that increase the probability of a fatal outcome, “explained Minsalud.

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