COVAX to replace expired AstraZeneca vaccines: adviser

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2022 12:16 PM | Updated as of May 13 2022 12:34 PM

Some 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX facility arrive at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on March 4, 2021. PCOO-OGMPA handout
Some 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX facility arrive at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on March 4, 2021. PCOO-OGMPA handout


MANILA - Vaccine-sharing platform COVAX Facility will replace some 1 million expired AstraZeneca coronavirus shots, an adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said Friday.

The Department of Health last month said less than 2 percent of the country's around 244 million COVID-19 vaccines had been wasted. It said it would ask COVAX to replace if it could replace the jabs it donated and later expired.

"Meron na rin tayong I think 1 million na nag-expire na AstraZeneca na nanggaling sa COVAX pero ito ay pinangako ng COVAX na papalitan nila so hihintayin lang natin ang replacement. These are donations naman," Dr. Ted Herbosa said in a televised briefing.

(We also have, I think, 1 million expired AsraZeneca vaccines from COVAX which expired and it promised to replace them. We're just waiting for the replacement.)

The Philippines is also eyeing to donate 3 million Sputnik V vaccines to its Southeast Asian neighbors and some African countries, Herbosa said.

The NTF-COVID-19 medical adviser urged the public to get their booster shots before more transmissible omicron subvariants, such as the BA.4 and BA.5, enter the Philippines.

The country has yet to tally an increase in COVID-19 cases following the May 9 elections, Herbosa said.

"We’re waiting kasi nga ang ating (because our) incubation period ay (is) within 3 to 5 days. This time pwedeng dumami ang cases. However, apparently wala tayong nakikitang outbreaks or surge of new cases which might reflect ang high rate ng vaccination na na-attain natin," he said.

(This time, cases can increase. However, apparently we're not seeing outbreaks or surge of new cases, which might reflect the high vaccination rate we have attained.)

"Sana ma-booster ang ating mga kababayan kasi pwede pa rin talaga."

(We hope the public gets their booster shot because cases can still increase.)

Herbosa also urged the incoming administration to continue government's pandemic response and COVID-19 vaccination.

"Ito ang nagdala sa 'tin sa sitwayson na meron tayo ngayon--Alert Level 1, nakapag-hold tayo ng malawakang elections. Nakita natin ang result ng massive vaccination drive," he said.

(This brought us to the situation we have right now--Alert Level 1, we were able to hold the elections. We saw the result of the massive vaccination drive.)

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