MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said it was waiting for clearance from the Office of the President to donate the country’s excess COVID-19 vaccines.
Authorities earlier announced plans to donate COVID-19 jabs to countries running short of vaccines, including some African nations and Southeast Asian neighbors.
"Yes, itutuloy iyan. Hinihintay lamang iyong clearance na nasa Office of the President at siyempre ang Office of the President ay tinitingnan din ang mga legal implications nito," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a televised briefing.
(Yes, that will push through. We are just waiting for clearance from the Office of the President and of course, it is looking at legal implications.)
The quantity of vaccines to be donated depends on whether the Food and Drug Administration will approve the health department's request to extend the jabs' shelf life, Duque said.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier this month said while government had yet to finalize the vaccine brands that will be donated, negotiations were underway.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, meanwhile, warned that some 27 million COVID-19 jabs would expire by July.
Based on government data, the Philippines has fully vaccinated some 67.1 million individuals, while around 12.7 million have received booster shots.
— Pia Gutierrez and Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News