Thai industries to build cold storage for COVID-19 vaccines.
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) will collaborate with Thai government agencies to fund and build cold storage equipment to support the logistics of distributing vaccines for COVID-19, an important component of the government’s vaccination plans.
“The pharmacy fridge production will support the medical equipment business, helping pave the way for the country to be a medical industry hub,” said Supant Mongkolsuthr, Chairman of the FTI.
Thailand has an agreement to manufacture over 60 million doses of the vaccine produced by AstraZeneca. Vaccines need to be stored at very low temperatures. The Kingdom is still negotiating with other vaccine producers such as Pfizer to secure more doses. The Pfizer vaccine is more challenging logistically as it needs to be stored at extremely low temperatures.
Supant said that manufacturing the refrigerators and cold storage units domestically would save Thailand significant costs. Thai companies can produce the units for a price tag between $1,330 and $1,665, while imported units costs at least $3,330.
Thailand has a wealth of manufacturers who build refrigerators and other appliances for global markets. They can easily retool to meet medical standards, with some already engaged in supplying the medical industry.
The FTI’s Electrical, Electronics, Telecommunications and Allied Industry Club is working with the Electrical and Electronics Institute and the Ministry of Public Health to support the manufacture of quality storage for COVID-19 vaccines.
Supant said that the FTI’s plan was to manufacture the units in two phases. The first would handle the AstraZeneca and similar vaccines, while the second would produce the units capable of storing at extremely cold temperatures. They would then be distributed to hospitals that need them across the nation.
Photo courtesy of http://asean.dla.go.th/public/