More than 300 vials of COVID-19 vaccine wasted after freezer left unplugged

More than 300 vials of COVID-19 vaccine wasted after freezer left unplugged

John Unson (Philstar.com) - May 14, 2021 - 1:36pm

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines — More than 300 vials of Sinovac anti-coronavirus vaccines were ruined by a power interruption in Makilala town early this week, officials confirmed on Friday.

Dr. Gina Sorilla, municipal health officer in the upland Makilala town in North Cotabato, said the 348 vials of Chinese-made anti-COVID-19 vaccines were supposed to be for senior citizens in the local communities.

North Cotabato's provincial health officer, Dr. Eva Rabaya, placed at no less than P500,000 the value of the vaccines destroyed by heat.

A vial of Sinovac vaccine costs at least P1,500, she said.

The vaccines were stored in a freezer inside the Makilala municipal health office but were transferred to a freezer in the town's police station because of a power outage. The police station had a backup generator.

A member of Makilala's anti-COVID-19 task force told reporters someone forgot to plug the freezer in a regular outlet after the portable power generator was shut off when power was restored.

"Nobody noticed it. They learned about that apparent mishap two days after supply of electricity got back to normal," one of the sources said.

Lito Cañedo, task force spokesperson, said they will turn over the spoiled vaccines to the Department of Health-12 for examination.

"I’m pretty sure all of those 348 vials of Sinovac vaccines really got spoiled," Cañedo said.

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