The recent fiasco involving the expiration of AstraZeneca vaccines in the Provincial Health Office Cold Room facility is reeking with gross negligence and arrogance, a press release from gubernatorial aspirant Jon Orola said yesterday.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II, told reporters that “We value our vaccines. We want to use them. We do not delay, but we value more the vaccinees. We don’t want to inject vaccines that are about to expire,” it said.
He further pointed out that, “As the expiration date approaches, the vaccine’s efficacy diminishes, thus giving it might offer the receiver a false sense of security and potentially put the vaccinee and his or her family at risk”, the press release said.
In Canada, according to Oxford-AstraZeneca, vaccines that expired last May 31 were extended to a month. “The approval to extend the shelf life was supported by scientific evidence”, said Health Canada, it said.
John Orola Jr., in his statement, said that “The expired 14,000 vaccines could have protected more people in the province but it was put to waste.”
“He never bothered to refer it to a specialist or doctor regarding the efficacy of vaccines related to shelf life or expiry date. This assumption of Diaz was never supported by any medical evidence which he seems to project himself as an expert in vaccines specifically AstraZeneca,” Orola said.
Orola added that “They must have referred it to a specialist before he decided and avoided a blatant display of arrogance towards this matter”. “The Department of Health (DOH) should investigate the incident to make sure that no more vaccines will be wasted.”
The DOH is now investigating the 14,000 doses of vaccine that had expired and were wasted in Negros Occidental to find out if there is negligence on the part of the province and to find out who is liable according to Health USEC Myrna Cabotaje in an interview.*