Low public interest, short shelf life to blame for wasted COVID jabs – DOH

By: Jean Mangaluz - Inquirer.net | December 07,2022 - 08:37 AM
FILE PHOTO: Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — The wasted COVID-19 vaccines can be attributed to a lowered public interest and the short shelf life, said Department of Health officer-in-charge (DOH-OIC) Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday.

In a media forum, Vergeire was asked about the 44 million COVID-19 vaccines that recently have gone to waste.

“Nandiyan na ang pagbaba ng interes ng ating mga kababayan sa pagbabakuna. Kung mapapansin niyo, in spite of the, all efforts, best efforts ng local governments, mobilized our partners from the private sector, partners from our medical societies, at lahat lahat na—from government agencies. Pero talagang mababa na ngayon ang uptake ng pagbabakuna,” said Vergeire.

(The lowered interest of the public in vaccinations is there. If you notice, despite the best efforts of local governments, mobilizing our partners from the private sector, partners from our medical societies, government agencies and all. But the uptake of the vaccine is low).

Vergeire further explained that vaccination rates peaked in December 2021, but started to decline by January 2022.

According to the OIC, COVID-19 jabs also had shorter shelf-lives compared to vaccines of other illnesses.

“They are just in their [Emergency Use Authorization], so the manufacturers, they produce the vaccines at a much shorter shelf life,” stated Vergeire.

Other countries were also experiencing the same wastage of COVID-19 vaccines, said Vergeire.

The World Health Organization stated in July 2021 that COVID-19 vaccines have a short shelf life, prompting them to set guidelines on how to minimize wastage, including monitoring data to utilize the vaccines and creating strategies for distribution.

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DOH: Wasted COVID-19 jabs now at 44 million doses

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, covid vaccines, DOH, low public interest, WASTED
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