Health Secretary Francisco Duque III ensured that all of the two million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines would be injected before their expiry date.
According to National COVID-19 Vaccine Operations Center, 1.5 million of the newly-arrived AstraZeneca doses would expire on June 30 and 525,000 doses will perish on July 31.
“We will make sure nothing will expire. It will all be jabbed, it will all be used for inoculating our A1 to complete the health care workers, the A2 for the senior citizens, and the adults with comorbidities,” he said.
The DOH chief added that 525,600 of the 2 million AstraZeneca vaccines would be used as the second dose while the remaining would be used as the first dose.
Duque said the health department has coordinated with Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos to meet the 120,000 vaccinations per day in the National Capital Region.
“In NCR, si Chairman Abalos has already committed we will put the lion share of the [AstraZeneca] at the epicenter in the NCR. They committed 120,000 vaccinees. So in 10 days mauubos mo. (You will use all of it.) That is before the expiry date,” Duque said.
DOH to ensure all AstraZeneca vaccines disposed before expiration
“So we are mindful of the expiration, you know this is gold. We cannot afford dilly-dallying in terms of implementing our vaccine program or plan so we are aggressively pursuing this,” he said.
Two million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility has arrived in the Philippines last Saturday.
AstraZeneca vaccines have been discontinued for people aged 59 and under after it was reported abroad that those who had been vaccinated had experienced blood clots in certain parts of the body.
According to the FDA, the World Health Organization says the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its threats.
But there have been no cases of blood clots in the Philippines.