AstraZeneca rollout in CV extended to Mar. 31
CEBU CITY, Philippines — After missing the March 23 deadline, rollout of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in Central Visayas has been extended.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) on Thursday, March 25, announced that hospitals and other health institutions in the region have until March 31 to use all of their AstraZeneca supplies.
Otherwise, DOH-7 will either be pulling out the vials or reassign these to senior citizens who are next in line to receive the free vaccines.
“Although there’s a mandate from central office to recall all of them, RD Bernadas (Jaime Bernadas, DOH-7 director) acknowledged that there are really problems on the ground. This is why we allow the extension to give our hospitals ample time to use all their AstraZeneca vaccines,” said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 spokesperson.
Central Visayas has been allocated with 30,000 doses of AstraZeneca. These are the region’s shares of the 500,000 AstraZeneca doses the European nations donated to the Philippine government.
Rollout of these vaccines, manufactured by the UK-based pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, began last March 6 in Metro Manila, and in Cebu a week later.
DOH’s central office, however, recently ordered all hospitals nationwide to exhaust all their supply of AstraZeneca vaccines by March 24 or these would be pulled out from their storages, and reallocated to other areas in need of more doses.
As of March 24, Loreche said Central Visayas managed to use at least half of its supply of AstraZeneca vaccines, and at least 17 hospitals completed inoculating their healthcare workers with the first dose of such vaccine brand.
“Based on our records, 15,851 have already been vaccinated with AstraZeneca… We’re happy that some hospitals finished administering the first dose of AstraZeneca,” said Loreche.
“Since our rollout of AstraZeneca has been extended, we are expecting and hoping the numbers of those vaccinated will increase,” she added.
Unused AstraZeneca vaccines by April 1 will either be recalled and restored back in DOH-7’s cold storage facility or will remain in hospitals to be reassigned to senior citizens, Loreche said.
It can be recalled that DOH-7 initially targeted to use all 30,000 doses of AstraZeneca last Tuesday, March 23.
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