Health Secretary Francisco Duque III clarified Friday that the COVID-19 vaccines from provinces would not be “recalled” but only “borrowed” for hospitals with a high number of cases.
“Ang gusto ko linawin ngayon ay hihiramin lang natin ‘yan habang kulang ang bakuna at rumaragasa ang COVID sa [National Capital Region], sa Region 4A, sa Region 3, sa Region 7 at sa [Cordillera Administrative Region],” he told Dobol B TV.
(I just want to clarify that we’ll only borrow those vaccines amid the increase in COVID infections in NCR, Region 4A, Region 3, Region 7, and CAR.)
Duque said the COVID-19 vaccines will only be borrowed from hospitals with a low number of uptake because only a few medical frontliners in these facilities got vaccinated.
“Nakatanggap ako ng report na may mga ospital na mababa ang uptake [ng vaccine], eh sayang naman at baka abutan ng expiration gaya ng AstraZeneca na tatlong buwan lang,” he said.
“Bakit hindi natin hiramin muna [ang vaccines] at dalhin dito sa may mga matitinding pangangailangan? Ginagawa naman talaga yan, matagal na naming ginagawa yan,” Duque added.
Duque says vaccines ‘borrowed’ from provinces, not recalled
(I received a report that some hospitals have low vaccine uptake, and we don’t want these vaccines to remain unused and reach their expiration dates. So why don’t we borrow them for the meantime. This is nothing new, we’ve been doing it in the past.)
Duque noted that “borrowing” the vaccines is being done during emergency situations.
“Ginagawa talaga ‘yan [We’re already doing this], part of management intervention,” he said.
Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr., president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, expressed opposition to this decision.
“Yung mga binibigay po sa mga lalawigan ay hindi naman po karamihan kaya palagay ko po ay mahirap yung kukunin pa sa amin iyon,” he said in an interview with Super Radyo dzBB earlier
(The vaccines given to the provinces were not that many in the first place so it would be difficult for us if they will be recalled.)