The journey of a vaccine

From a vaccine store to an immunized child

January 2014

WHO/F. Guerrero

On October 2013, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Bohol in the Philippines. The island saw the loss of an estimated 200 lives and damages to more than 70 000 structures including health services across the region. The following month, these services were further affected by the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which caused the interruption of their power supply coming from Samar, a region directly hit by the storm.

The devastation of these facilities and interruption in power supply broke the cold chain in the immunization activities in Bohol. The cold chain is the system used for keeping and distributing vaccines at their appropriate temperatures in order to ensure viability. In December, the Department of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners managed to restore the “cold chain” in areas of Bohol where it had been disrupted and maintained in areas which survived disruption.

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