EGYPT – Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar has inaugurated a fully automated cooling logistical complex for the storage and distribution of vaccines at the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines, commonly known as VACSERA.

He said the construction of the complex started in April 2021 in cooperation with Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech under an agreement signed between the Egyptian and Chinese sides at the Egyptian embassy in Beijing in January.

As per the agreement signed with Sinovac, the complex comprises two cooling rooms at a temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius over an area of 661 square meters and nine meters high each designated for the storage of vaccines.

VACSERA’s facility also features three areas for receiving refrigerated trucks, loading and unloading shipments as well as a compartment for checking and recording shipment data, and a freezing room at a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius for storing the analysis materials.

The minister further disclosed that it has a storage zone over an area of 290 square meters, and a height of 3.45 meters for storing the ready-to-pack bales at a temperature of 2-8 degrees with a storage zone that is completely separated from the final product storage area.

The logistical complex is managed automatically without any human intervention by using the warehouse management system WMS, which controls the storage of vaccines in a way that improves work efficiency and organizes storage spaces,” he highlighted.

Abdel-Ghaffar further highlighted that the fully-automated vaccine cold storage facility will help enhance vaccine storage capacities in Egypt and make it a regional hub for the manufacturing and storage of vaccines in Africa.

Each cold room is controlled via a dual cooling system; one for use and another as a backup, with the complex’s control and monitoring room containing screens to monitor the vaccine transfer process and monitor temperatures as well as an alarm system and fire extinguishing system,” he said.

Abdel-Ghaffar emphasized that good storage is one of the most important factors for maintaining vaccines, noting that vaccines are composed of biological materials that lose their effectiveness and ability to generate immunity against diseases when exposed to inappropriate temperatures.

The cooling complex, built by the Chinese construction heavyweight CSCEC company, is built on an area of 3,180 square meters, with a capacity to accommodate 100-150 million doses of vaccine annually,” he added.

Furthermore, Egypt has drawn up a comprehensive plan to develop the state-owned VACSERA in line with its strategy to become a Centre for the production of vaccines to meet the requirements of African countries.

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