No vaccines destroyed in blackout, says DOH-7
CEBU CITY, Philippines – All COVID-19 vaccines stored in cold storage facilities in Central Visayas were spared from damage when most parts of the region experienced a four-hour blackout on Friday evening, August 20.
The regional office of the Department of Health (DOH-7), in a statement issued on Saturday, August 21, said there were no vaccines destroyed when power supply went out last Friday.
“As of 10 a.m. (Saturday), assessment in the affected areas’ vaccine storage revealed temperature ideal for vaccine storage was maintained,” said Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH-7 director.
“The contingency plans have been followed and have ensured our vaccine supply are still stored in their ideal temperature,” he added.
Vaccines needed to be stored in a container or a facility with ultra-low temperatures before they can be used to inoculate people.
If these are exposed to higher temperatures, these may no longer be used and may therefore go to waste, a situation health officials are avoiding due to limited supply.
Parts of the Visayas area, including Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, and Samar, were plunged into darkness last Friday that lasted until around 4 a.m. the next day.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) confirmed the incident was a blackout and was caused by a lightning strike that tripped one of the power lines.
The blackout occurred at 11:56 p.m.
Power restoration began around 12:52 a.m. in small portions of the affected areas, including Cebu City. Full restoration of power supply was reported around 4 a.m. or approximately four hours after the blackout occurred.
The NGCP is a privately owned transmission service provider in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s state-owned power grid. / with reports from the Philippine Daily Inquirer
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