Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid vaccine UAE: How hospitals store Sinopharm jabs

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on December 14, 2020 | Last updated on December 14, 2020 at 10.05 pm
Chinese Sinopharm vaccine vials stored in a private hospital in Abu Dhabi. — Photo by Ryan Lim

Sinopharm's vaccines can be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

The Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine is an important tool in the hands of the UAE healthcare groups to beat the threat of the pandemic. And the jabs are now offered to masses across many hospitals and medical centres in the country.

But how are these vaccine vials stored in a medical facility? What kind of modifications have the hospitals made to administer it on a mass scale? Have the hospitals flown in ultra-freezers?

The answers to these questions are quite startling.

ALSO READ: I got the jab and here's a step-by-step guide

Unlike Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that need sub-zero freezers, Sinopharm’s vaccines can be easily stored at normal refrigeration temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. So, none of the medical facilities have had to create any deep freezer chambers or fly in innovative cold storage facilities.

“We never had to alter or upgrade our infrastructure for storage purposes. The vaccine is stored at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. So, it can be stored in our medication refrigerators where all our standard medications and vaccines are kept,” said Dr Nabil Debouni, Group Medical Director, VPS Healthcare.

One fridge for all vaccines

Stored in a normal refrigerator in the range of 5 degrees Celsius, the vaccine vials can be easily accommodated alongside those containing jabs for hepatitis, BCG, typhoid, rotavirus, tetanus, etc.

The temperature variation is recorded by a thermograph connected to the refrigerator. The daily recordings and temperature-controlled room for storing all the vaccines are monitored by specially trained staff.

Medical professionals said the UAE decision-makers showed remarkable vision to conduct the Phase 3 clinical trials of the Sinopharm vaccine in Abu Dhabi as opposed to vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.

With the UAE initiating mass distribution of the vaccine, now even small clinics will be able to store and offer the jab to the community members.


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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