21,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses wasted in typhoon-hit areas: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2022 12:28 PM

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MANILA - Some 21,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been wasted in areas devastated by Typhoon Odette, an official said Friday, citing initial reports.

The vaccine wastage were reported in Iloilo, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Caraga, according to Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, head of the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC).

Some areas have yet to file a report as communication and power lines remain down following Odette's destruction, Cabotaje said.

"About 21,000 doses were initially reported sa wastage...About 21,000 po ang officially reported to us na hindi na magamit (that can no longer be used)," she said during a virtual public briefing.

"We are completing the report and hopefully in the next 1 or 2 weeks we will have a complete report."

All 23 local governments in Mimaropa, Southern Leyte, and Iloilo have resumed their vaccination while jab resumption was at "70 to 75 percent" in Western Visayas, according to Cabotaje.

"Ang Caraga, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, di pa 100 percent," she said.

The Philippines has so far deployed 146 million out of 210 million COVID-19 vaccine doses of vaccines it has received, Cabotaje said. The total includes those procured by the national government, private sector, local governments, and donations, she added.

"Ang kailangan po maraming gustong magpabakuna. Ngayong dumadami ang cases medyo bumabagal kasi ang ating healthcare workers naaffect din ng cases so temporarily di sila makabuna," she said. "Naantala din ito sa typhoon Odette sa ilang areas."

(We need more people who want to get vaccinated. Now that cases are increasing, our vaccination is slowing because our healthcare workers are also affected. Typhoon Odette also delayed vaccination in some areas.)

The Philippines has fully vaccinated some 51.7 million individuals, while 57.4 million have received an initial dose and 2.8 million have received booster shots, according to the NVOC.