Navy prepping up assets, personnel for ongoing vax rollout

The Philippine Navy (PN) on Thursday said it is now preparing all its assets and personnel to assist in the government’s ongoing rollout of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.

“The PN will continue to prepare our personnel and assets to assist in the national vaccine roll-out as directed by higher headquarters,” PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said in a message.

The Navy earlier said it will mobilize its brand-new landing docks, BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), for vaccine transport missions now that the first batch of the Sinovac Biotech CoronaVac is in the country. The AstraZeneca vaccine is also arriving Thursday night.

He added that the PN is anticipating the utilization of the two ships if they will be needed for the roll-out.

“Nonetheless, with the small number of vaccines available at this time and the requirement for a more expeditious distribution of the same nationwide, the national leadership deems it more appropriate to transport the vaccines via aircraft,” Bacordo said.

Both ships have an overall length of 120 meters, breadth of 21 meters, a draft of five meters, and can carry a payload of 2,800 tons.

Both BRP Tarlac and BRP Davao Del Sur are also equipped with cold storage reefers making them ideal to transport the life-saving vaccines.

The following are initial information on the volume and sustained temperatures of these reefers aboard the two landing dock vessels:

*Meat and fish reefer: 60 cubic meters / -20°C

*Vegetable room: 50 cubic meters / 3°C

*Lobby: 12 cubic meters / 10°C. PNA.GOV.PH