ADDED PROTECTION. An airport worker disinfects the cargo of 539,430 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City on Tuesday (Nov. 30, 2021). The jabs were donated by South Korea through the COVAX Facility. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)
MANILA – To prevent wastage, the government is taking steps to accept only Covid-19 vaccine donations that are far from expiring.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, acting Presidential spokesperson, said the government has already set parameters and guidelines when it comes to accepting donations.
Citing National Task Force chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Nograles said the government is coordinating with manufacturers regarding expiration dates.
“Isa pang sinabi ni Sec. Charlie, iyong pakikipag-ugnayan din sa mga donations na dapat maglagay din po tayo, pag dino-donate sa atin, dapat we have to emphasize na iyong idu-donate huwag iyong near expiry (Another thing Sec. Charlie said is they are coordinating with donors to donate vaccines that are not close to expiring),” he said in a radio interview on Sunday.
“Bagama’t nagpapasalamat tayo sa lahat ng mga nagdu-donate ‘no, but the reality on the ground also is we also do not want to have masyadong sobrang dami ng supply na palapit na iyong expiration. Iyong pressure mapupunta sa atin (Though we are thankful to those who donate, the reality on the ground also is we do not want to have too much supplies that are close to expiring. That will add pressure on us),” he added.
The shelf lives of Covid-19 vaccines may be extended but Nograles noted that it is not possible for all brands.
“Nagsalita na si Secretary Charlie Galvez at iyong mga miyembro ng vaccine cluster na there are some vaccines na bagama’t sinasabi ang expiry date ay ganito based doon sa pag-assess nila together with the manufacturer and based sa mga experts ay magagamit pa rin naman po. At mayroon tayong papeles at dokumento na nagsasabi na may permiso naman po na puwedeng gamitin iyan (Secretary Charlie Galvez and members of the vaccine cluster have said that there are some expired vaccines that can still be used. And we have documents giving us permission to still use them),” he said.
He ensured though that Covid-19 vaccines are used up before they expire.
“Ginagawa natin ang lahat para lahat ng mayroon tayong supply, first in, first out iyan para hindi tumama doon sa expiration date. Of course, we’re very mindful doon sa expiration date na kailangan iyon ang unahin (We are doing everything to ensure that we follow a first in, first out scheme so that they’re used up before the expiration date. Of course, we’re very mindful using up those with closer expiration dates),” he added.
As of December 2, a total of 37,353,438 Filipinos have completed their Covid-19 vaccinations while 432,901 booster or additional doses have been administered.
The Philippines aims to inoculate at least 54 million Filipinos by the end of December this year to achieve population protection. (PNA)