DOH-7 to LGUs: Give unused AZ vaccines to seniors if…
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) told local governments here to administer unused AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to senior citizens after they have completed administering the first dose of the vaccine to all medical frontline health workers that they employ.
“For as long as they have completed vaccinating their A1, and they still have unused or extra AstraZeneca vaccines, these maybe administered to our A2 or our senior citizens,” said DOH-7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said.
Loreche’s statement came after the local government of Balamban in western Cebu announced that at least 30 senior citizens there have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine.
In a post on their official Facebook page, the municipality stated they have three unused vials of AstraZeneca vaccine.
Each vial can vaccinate up to 10 persons, said Loreche.
Balamban is a first – class municipality that borders Cebu City in the west.
In the Philippine COVID-19 Vaccination Deployment Plan, A1 refers to medical healthcare workers. They are the top most priority of the national government’s inoculation drive.
Senior citizens are classified under A2, and are next in line.
However, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) did not permit elderlies in the country to be vaccinated with CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine brand of Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech.
CoronaVac is the only other brand of COVID-19 vaccine supplied in the Philippines aside from AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca, on the other hand, is manufactured by British – Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca.
The latest report from the Visayas Vaccination Operation Center show that as of April 8, there are 558, 912 senior citizens in Central Visayas who consented to receive the vaccines.
Meanwhile, Loreche said Central Visayas still needs additional supply of COVID-19 vaccines as the list of medical frontline health workers qualified to receive the shots for free continue to grow.
She also said they are still waiting for further information from the national government as to when and how many more vaccines will be allocated to the region./ dcb
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