Zuellig Pharma commits to delivering end-to-end vaccine solutions
As of March 2022, the Philippines administered more than 137 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. More doses are continuously being procured to support the country’s ongoing efforts to providing booster shots for fully inoculated Filipinos and to begin vaccinating children and other segments of the general population.
To date, the Philippines has been able to fully vaccinate more than 68 million Filipinos, with around 13 million getting their booster shots to increase protection against COVID-19. While vaccine hesitancy remains to be a key issue among Filipinos mainly stemming from misinformation, studies now show that six out of ten Filipinos are now willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 once shots are available in their respective areas.
Zuellig Pharma Corporation and Moderna: A partnership to secure future-ready mRNA vaccines
To bring the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries, last April 2021, Zuellig Pharma announced a partnership with Moderna Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines.
Through ZP Therapeutics, the commercialization division of Zuellig Pharma Corporation, the company secured an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna in the country in May 2021. Following its commitment towards better protection for all Filipinos, ZP Therapeutics filed EUA amendments for COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna as a booster dose for the general adult population and primary dosage for Filipinos ages 12 and above. Within the year, ZP Therapeutics is expected to file another amended EUA to cover inoculation for children.
In support of the country’s national vaccination program against COVID-19, the Philippines has received more than 33 million doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna.
Expertise at Work: Ensuring an efficient and safe COVID-19 vaccine rollout
As a leading healthcare services provider in Asia, Zuellig Pharma ensures that each COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna dose is stored in the company’s pharma-grade cold-chain facilities. Each cold-chain facility can accommodate pharmaceutical products with temperature requirements ranging between -80°C to +25 °C ensuring that the shelf life of each procured vaccine is maximized. From January 2021, five new cold chambers were established in the Philippines – three in Manila and one each in Cebu and Davao. Currently, there are 15 medical grade freezers for -80 degrees Celsius storage in the country.
To aid in streamlining vaccine delivery across the country, Zuellig Pharma also saw the opening of a National Distribution Center (NDC) in September 2020. Located in Santa Rosa, the 25,000sqm facility is equipped with automation and energy-efficient functionalities, LED intelligent lighting, and a water-chilled cooling system.
Given the logistical challenges in distributing vaccines across the Philippine archipelago, COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna doses are delivered with the Zuellig Pharma eZCooler Solution to ensure the integrity of temperature-sensitive products to the last mile of transportation. Formulated for different temperature needs to be efficiently used across all Asian markets, the eZCooler Solution has been developed using a unique thermal isolation system that extends the storage time of temperature-sensitive products in transit from two days to five days.
Digital solutions to maximize efficiency
To support efficient vaccine deployment, Zuellig Pharma remains committed to utilizing forward-looking digital solutions to expedite processes. Zuellig Pharma has been a proactive partner for the national government and the private sector in the administration of essential COVID-19 vaccines as part of its healthcare logistics expertise and capabilities. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognized Zuellig Pharma’s capability in providing and maintaining appropriate cold-chain requirements to store and safely deliver Moderna vaccines to all impacted populations.
Since the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna doses in the Philippines, Zuellig Pharma utilized its logistics capabilities and expertise to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of the said vaccines. In 2020, Zuellig Pharma launched eZTracker, the first smartphone application in Asia that uses blockchain technology to help consumers verify the authenticity of medical products. The app enables full traceability of the distribution of medical products even to rural areas throughout the region without compromising integrity.
In 2021, Zuellig Pharma launched eZVax, a vaccine management solution that handles all aspects of vaccine distribution and administration. The solution integrates the use of eZTracker alongside three other key pillars: a data aggregation platform to maximize efficiency across the supply chain, a citizen-services app to support patients’ end-to-end vaccination process, and lastly, an integrated platform to facilitate efficient management of vaccinations.
Medical and regulatory expertise to support strategic market entry
Zuellig Pharma’s capabilities in logistics and digital solutions are complemented by ZP Therapeutics expertise and commitment to serve unmet medical needs in the region. Through its local regulatory teams, ZP Therapeutics in-depth understanding of the Philippine landscape has helped the company secure necessary amendment approvals stemming from its initial EUA, while the company’s medical affairs team has helped engage with healthcare professionals as well as to create and sustain dialogue for public education campaigns.
A commitment to delivering end-to-end vaccine solutions
Zuellig Pharma reiterates its support to bolster the booster inoculation against COVID-19 and its more infectious variants. Through expanding access to vaccines, more Filipinos will be encouraged to get their third dose for an extra layer of protection.
Zuellig Pharma Corporation is committed in helping both public and private sector in the deployment of booster doses to all communities.
The collaboration between Zuellig Pharma and Moderna, Inc. is a testament to addressing the call from the World Health Organization and its commitment to making healthcare solutions accessible through innovation, commercial excellence, and robust in-market capabilities. To augment national vaccination efforts, through world-class distribution, digital, and commercial services, Zuellig Pharma will continue to work with the public sector, the private sector, and the national government to efficiently procure, distribute and safely administer more COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna doses to more Filipinos across the country.
For companies interested to know more about the Moderna vaccines, they can contact Zuellig Pharma at [email protected].
Subscribe to our global nation newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.