32 ‘wasted’ COVID vaccines in Region 7 minimal, says DOH7
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Central Visayas has 32 unused COVID-19 vaccines that were put to waste, the regional health office here reported.
The Department of Health in the region (DOH-7) on April 12, 2021 confirmed to reporters that they recorded 32 doses of COVID-19 vaccines that cannot be administered for various reasons.
“For Sinovac, the reason for wastage is that upon opening the vial, the volume is 0.5 ml (milliliters) and this means it is not in accordance with the volume as directed for vaccination to be effective,” said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of DOH-7.
“For AstraZeneca, there are instances the vial is opened with the pre-listed HCW (healthcare worker) but did not show up. We cannot store an opened vial so the remaining dose (has) to be disposed of,” she added.
Based on DOH-7’s tally, eight of the 32 ‘wasted’ vaccines were CoronaVac by Sinovac Biotech while the rest were AstraZeneca. All of these were returned to DOH-7’s custody, said Loreche.
However, the regional health office assured the number of unused vaccines they recorded was only minimal.
“It’s a very, very small percentage in terms of vaccines put into waste. Meaning to say we are very, very much careful with the vaccines because these are actually very valuable and very difficult commodities to get by,” explained Loreche.
The Philippines has so far received only two brands of COVID-19 vaccines. These are CoronaVac and AstraZeneca.
One dose of CoronaVac costs around P3,600 while AstraZeneca, manufactured by British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, is at P610.
Central Visayas has a total of 131,781 healthcare workers qualified under A1 of the government’s priority list.
Of this number, 72,098 have already received their first dose.
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