DOH confident Moderna vaccines sent to regions will be used before expiry date

DOH confident Moderna vaccines sent to regions will be used before expiry date
Residents receive their first dose of Moderna vaccine at the "Vaccine Express" of Vice President Leni Robredo's team in San Pedro Laguna on Aug. 28, 2021.
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health on Thursday said it has sent doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to Metro Manila's neighboring regions to use them up before they expire next month.

Around 400,000 doses purchased by the private sector are nearing expiry date on November 30. 

But Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the agency has made use of the jabs after their supposed recipients were inoculated under the national government's vaccination program.

"We have already deployed all of them," she said in a briefing in mixed English and Filipino. "They are now being jabbed."

Cabotaje added the Moderna doses were delivered to areas with good vaccination performance or rate and with cold chain capacity.

These, she said, are mostly in Central Luzon and Calabarzon. "They are fast in administering the jabs and many have there have yet to receive it," the official said.

Cabotaje urged authorities in the two regions to further ramp up vaccination to ensure the Moderna doses would not be wasted.

"We have a whole month," she said. "[But] they don't need to have the whole month. In two weeks that should be used up."

The Philippines is nearly eight months into inoculation efforts. It now includes vaccinating the general population as well minors aged 12 to 17.

Planning is also underway for administering booster shots and third doses, which has received green light from DOH. 

Official data by October 27 showed there are now 26.47 million Filipinos fully vaccinated for COVID-19, while 31.01 million have received a first dose. 

The government is eyeing to inoculate some 77.13 million this year to meet "population protection." — Christian Deiparine



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