2,570 vaccine doses reach end of shelf life unused in Zamboanga region

Roel Pareño - Philstar.com
2,570 vaccine doses reach end of shelf life unused in Zamboanga region
Some of the released PDLs prepare to enter a 14-day quarantine at a local hotel in Zamboanga City on May 11, 2020.
Photo courtesy of Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) regional office in the Zamboanga Peninsula has monitored wastage of COVID-19 vaccine doses that were meant for use in the government's inoculation program.

The wastage involved about 2,570 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines that reached the end of their shelf life before being administered, said Dr. Mary Germeyn Punzalan, DOH-9 vaccination coordinator.

Punzalan, in a press briefing at DOH-9, said the vaccines that should have been used by November 30 were released and distributed on October 30 and the local government units were given 10 days to utilize the vaccines.

However, the wastage was still within the level set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and DOH central office, said Dr. Augusto Manolo Alpichi, assistant regional director.

He said the vaccines came from the central office and the regional office has sped up distribution to avoid wastage.

"We have some nearly expired vaccines but we have front loaded these to the LGUs and they have committed to utilize the vaccines before the shelf life or expiry reach," Alpichi said.

"We have to speed up the vaccination to avoid the wastage," Alpichi appealed to the LGUs.

Dr. Joshua Brillantes, DOH-9 director, said the unused vaccines has been sent back to cold storage at the provincial government and will be retrieved by the regional office for accounting.

"The provincial government will have to submit an incident report as to why the vaccines were not utilized which causes the wastage," Brillantes said.





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