COVID-19 update and press conference- February 7, 2021. (PMO)

Public Health Nurse and Senior Health Sister at the Winston Scott Polyclinic, Rosanette Cooke, has put to rest any fears about inadequate storage facilities for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, which are expected to be in the island later this week.

Speaking during a COVID-19 update this evening, she disclosed that the Ministry of Health and Wellness has adequate storage facilities for the 100,000 vaccines.

“The Ministry of Health and Wellness has a very adequate storage facility for the vaccines, and generally that facility is monitored every day in regard to the temperature, so that we make sure the temperatures are up to date. Vaccines are usually stored on average plus two to plus eight degrees Celsius. And that is how we monitor our vaccines to make sure they remain viable; make sure they remain in good condition, so then that they can be dispersed to the public.”

The Health Sister continued: “So yes, that is what we do making sure that those vaccines maintain that specific temperature, and that temperature is maintained from the point where the vaccines are what we call the cold chain from the point where the vaccines are manufactured…to the process of transporting them right away until they get to Barbados, right away until they’re stored in the Ministry of Health facility, and then right to the point up to inoculation of the patients.”

In the event of a power outage, the health practitioner said the vaccines would not be compromised, adding that the Ministry of Health has back-up generators which are checked and serviced frequently.

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