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NTF warns LGUs over vaccine spoilage

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Some local government units would have to explain the spoilage of “a few hundred doses” of AstraZeneca vaccine that expired on November 30.

The doses in question were part of the 1.5 million AstraZeneca vaccine donated and delivered to the Philippines in late October 2021.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 medical adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa on Wednesday said most of the shots were consumed, but a few hundred were not administered on or before November 30.

“[W]e consumed most of that (but) there are a few hundred doses that expired as of November 30, so that’s the one that we’re going to look into – the LGUs that were unable to inject that,” Herbosa said in an interview.

“The promise of (Presidential Adviser for Covid-19) Vince Dizon is really to do a show-cause order for the LGUs that had vaccines that expired because this is national government property.”

The concerned LGUs would have to justify the delay in the jabs’ administration and its eventual expiration.

“They’ll be asked to explain to the Department of the Interior and Local Government why (a) case wouldn’t be filed against them for wastage of government-procured or government-donated… government-owned vaccines,” he said.

A total of 14,620 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines with November 30 expiration dates have gone to waste after a local government unit in Negros Occidental refused to accept it, preferring to use other vaccines available with longer expiration dates.

Dr. Claudelia Josefa S. Pabillo, Negros Occidental designated cold chain coordinator, earlier said that the 14,620 shots of non-utilized vaccines form part of the near-expiry 45,300 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that arrived in Negros Occidental on November 8.

While that batch of AstraZeneca vaccines were given preference for distribution to Negros LGUs upon arrival, Pabillo however said, that some LGUs were hesitant to accept it, and they also signified the intention to use other available vaccines.

“We value our vaccines. We want to use them. We do not delay. But we value more the vaccinees,” Provincial Inter Agency Task Force action officer Rayfrando Diaz earlier said.

We don’t want to inject about to expire or expired vaccines, he stressed. Which would come first, we will utilize all vaccines to be expired, or we will take care of our vaccinees,” he asked, noting that its potency decreases as the period of expiry nears.*with report from PNA

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