Meet the man who looks after our vaccines
He’s the last person to enter the ceremony room then stands silently at the front corner as the hand-over of the latest Astra-Zeneca doses from Australia to Solomon Islands in the National Medical Store gets underway at Ranadi. Once the formalities are done Aven Patison takes over as he leads the officials into one of the country’s only two cold storage rooms in the Medical Store.
The quiet and softly spoken Aven is the National Cold Chain manager whose job is very critical in ensuring that vaccines are kept to required cold-storage standards before they are dispatched for use right throughout the country.
Aven’s role is even more significant now with the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines as they required to be kept below 8 degrees before usage.
He explains that within his division there are certain people who are assigned to specific areas as for him he manages the vaccines. Asked what vaccines are currently in store, he says the usual ones like those that children take to prevent polio and TB and now COVID-19 vaccines.
He underscores that the vaccines are required to be kept within certain room temperature which is between +2 to +8 degrees.
Asked with COVID-19 vaccines now landing in thousands and if it is challenge, he says not so much because it comes in the normal room temperature (between 2-8 degrees). And when further probed if the storage space is a problem he says so far it’s ok.
Currently Aztra-Zeneca and Sinopharm vaccines are kept in the cold storage managed by Patison.
So what is cold chain? Patison explains that it means that the cold chain (temperature required for vaccine) must not be broken until it is given to a patient. In that regard, he reveals that once the vaccines are removed from the cold storage room they are placed in ice-bags in white storage containers before they are transprted for usage.
Aven who comes from Choiseul and Guadalcanal says he enjoys serving his country and though it is a demanding job he loves every moment he spends at work.
- Detailed story in our next SBM Issue-