Given the stringent logistics requirements for vaccines, building a scalable distribution infrastructure becomes a supply chain challenge for the government and private sectors. There may be shortages of cold storage, freezers, special trucks, or vials — and who knows what else – that hampers the flow of vaccines from manufacturer to vaccination sites.
A private sector-led initiative created in April 2020, Taskforce T3 (test, trace, treat), commits to supporting the Philippine government efforts in building an efficient and scaled-up medical supply chains.
T3, comprised of private companies, will assist the government in the areas of sourcing, procurement, inbound logistics, allocation, and distribution. There are variables within the supply chain management critical to vaccine efficiency that needs to be identified, solved, and monitored.
“Our task extends, beyond procuring vaccines, towards helping optimize the end-to-end supply chain and distribution logistics,” said Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, a founding member of T3.
Jaime said the public-private partnerships will overcome supply chain constraints associated with the large-scale vaccination program.
A Vaccine Logistics Summit, a multi-stakeholders conference, will be held by mid-December to discuss a multi-year vaccine procurement and distribution plan for the country. The Boston Consulting Group will organize the event.
To date, through the alliances under T3, the country’s testing laboratories increased from 17 to 162. T3 has also helped build isolation centers, procure testing equipment and PPEs, launch the One Hospital Command Center, and assist with data management requirements.
Recently, Zuellig Pharma announced that it will add ten medical-grade freezers capable to store vaccines at -80 degrees Celsius and five new cold chambers in the Philippines – three in Manila, and one each in Cebu and Davao in January 2021.