The Department of Science and Technology Region 10 (DOST-10) is conducting free calibration of COVID-19 vaccine storages and equipment throughout Northern Mindanao.
To date, the DOST-10 Regional Standards and Testing Laboratories (RSTL) calibrated a total of 9 bio-refrigerators, 3 refrigerators, 13 wall and dial thermometers, 1 freezer, and 8 thermo-hygrometers from different health units in Region 10.
According to RSTL Head Engr. Frumencio B. Quiblat, Jr., "Compliance to the vaccine's cold chain is a must to ensure the vaccine's integrity and efficacy. Not conforming to its required temperature might waste the vaccine making it not useful anymore."
A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain that includes all vaccine-related equipment and procedures. It makes sure that a specific range of temperature must be maintained and controlled from the manufacturer to the end-user.
In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, the temperature requirement should range from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius from the manufacturer to the vaccine recipient. This requirement also extends to the vaccine's transportation and storage.
"It is necessary to ensure that the temperature indicated by the different storages and equipment is accurate, thus the need to calibrate all of them. If the health units' vaccine storage claims to have 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, then it should be 2 to 8 degrees Celsius according to international standards," added Engr. Quiblat, Jr.
Calibration is the accuracy and precision of equipment and measuring instruments (thermometers, data loggers, and other devices) established by, certified by, and traceable to international standards.
Local Government Units, Rural Health Units, Municipal Health Units, and Provincial Health Offices may avail of this free service from DOST-10 to ensure the efficient continuation of the nation's vaccination program. They may send a request letter addressed to DOST-10 Regional Director Alfonso P. Alamban. (Julie Anne H. Baculio, DOST-10)