Muntinlupa discards some COVID-19 jabs after storage temperature change

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 15 2021 06:04 PM | Updated as of Jul 15 2021 06:07 PM

MANILA - Muntinlupa City on Thursday said it discarded several COVID-19 vaccines, fearing that the jabs have been compromised following a temperature change in their storage facility. 

The city also suspended administering COVID-19 vaccines at their inoculation site in Festival Mall, while the city's vaccination team is fixing the storage facility. 

The inoculation will be halted at the vaccination site until further notice. 

The number of COVID-19 vaccines affected and its brand were not disclosed in the advisory as of this story's posting. 

"Ayon sa inisyal na pagsusuri, nagkaroon ng pagbabago sa temperatura na maaaring makaapekto sa kalidad ng bakuna," the statement read.

(Upon checking, there has been a change in temperature in the storage facility that could affect the vaccines' quality.)

"Prayoridad natin ang kapakanan ng bawat isa kaya’t nagdesisyon pong huwag nang gamitin ang mga bakunang ito. Mas mabuti na pong sigurado tayo dahil kaligtasan ng mga babakunahan ang nakasalalay dito," it added. 

(Your safety is our priority, so we decided not to use these vaccines anymore. It is better that we are sure about this because we want everyone to be safe.) 

The local government has also sought guidance from the national government regarding the matter. 

Meanwhile, the city's vaccination team assured the public that those scheduled to receive the jabs on Thursday would be rescheduled. They are also coordinating with the people affected on the incident. 

Some people who replied at the Muntinlupa vaccination team's Facebook page said they are supposed to be inoculated with Pfizer vaccines. 

DOH CHECKING INCIDENT

The health department, in a message to reporters, said they are still checking the incident. 

The affected COVID-19 vaccines will "most likely" be screened by their experts to check its efficacy, the agency added.

Pfizer's vaccines have storage temperature requirements of -80 to -60 degrees Celsius. 

The European Medicines Agency in May approved the storage of the Pfizer's unopened vaccines in fridges for up to a month

Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration said in February that frozen vials of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine may be stored at temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers for a period of up to 2 weeks. 

Pharmaceutical freezers commonly operate at around -20 degrees Celsius.

The DOH had said that the second dose of several COVID-19 vaccines may be administered as late as 6 months after the initial jab.

The second dose of the following jabs may still be effective if it would be delayed as follows:

  • Moderna - up to 6 weeks after first dose
  • Pfizer - up to 6 weeks after first dose
  • Sinovac - as soon as possible
  • Sputnik V - up to 90 days after first dose

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