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Hospitals must use vaccines within 5 days
As this developed, three more hospitals have kicked off their inoculation drive against COVID-19 using the vaccines developed by AstraZeneca, the Department of Health also announced.
AFP/Robyn Beck, file

Hospitals must use vaccines within 5 days

Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - March 9, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Hospitals engaged in inoculation against COVID-19 should use up their vaccine allocation within five days as standard operating procedure (SOP), Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said yesterday.

As this developed, three more hospitals have kicked off their inoculation drive against COVID-19 using the vaccines developed by AstraZeneca, the Department of Health (DOH) also announced.

These hospitals are the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in Pampanga and Bataan General Hospital in Bataan.

“We are speeding up the deliveries of the vaccines so that they can start vaccinating their health workers… up to the eligible population,” she said.

Vergeire said that since the first day of the country’s vaccination program against COVID-19 last March 1 using Sinovac vaccines, vaccine uptake has increased.

As a protocol, health workers who refused Sinovac vaccines are not dropped from the priority lists. They will, instead, be given the AstraZeneva jabs if they want.

Last Saturday, Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan led by chief medical officer Zenaida Javier-Uy rolled out its AstraZeneca vaccination.

At the RITM, hospital director Celia Carlos was first to receive the AstraZeneca shot.

“As the leader of this agency, I need to show a good example. It is my hope that I may influence our employees who are still doubtful about getting vaccinated,” she said.

“There have been many studies on the value of these vaccines and on how they prevent severe disease and deaths,” she added.

RITM was given 100 vials of the AstraZeneca vaccines, enough to inoculate 1,000 personnel.

Its immunization program will run for a week for the first dose of the vaccine while the second dose will proceed after four to 12 weeks.

But as the government steps up its vaccination program against COVID-19, at least four vials of CoronaVac vaccines meant for frontliners of the Philippine National Police (PNP) went to waste due to a supposed manufacturing defect.

PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said at least four vials out of more than a thousand doses allotted for police health frontliners had cracks.

“We were given 1,004 and four of those were supposedly cracked or spoiled. The rest are OK,” he told reporters.

Maj. Clarissa Modes, PNP General Hospital vaccination coordinator, said four CoronaVac vials were spoiled due to a “manufacturing defect.”

“It’s possible that there was a breakage because the vaccine would not be exposed to air if there weren’t any breaks,” she said in a text message, saying the contents of the vials had crystallized and bubbled.

“The vaccines couldn’t be aspirated and it was reported already,” she added.

Modes said they have reported the incident to the DOH, which was already looking into the matter.

Inoculation of all police health personnel in Metro Manila has finished, Sinas said, and only two vaccine recipients experienced allergic reactions to the shots that only lasted for about two hours.

COVID-19 DOH
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