MANILA - Fires, presence of particulates and problems with transport are just some of the challenges faced by the Philippines' COVID-19 vaccine drive.
A total of 12,970 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been wasted so far, the Department of Health said Monday.
Majority of the causes were temperature "excursions," transport, absence of labels, and presence of particulate matter, said DOH Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.
"Most of the reasons would be itong temperature excursions, merong nagkaroon ng sunog sa Cotabato at Ilocos Norte dati kung saan ang ilang bakuna natin ay nadamay sa pagkasunog," she told reporters.
(Most of the reasons would be temperature excursions, vaccine doses were affected when fire was reported in Cotabato and Ilocos Norte.)
"Merong nabalitaan na wastage dahil sa transport, dun sa bangka na sinasakyan nila may issue na parang nalubog ang vaccine transport boxes doon."
(We also received reports of wastage due to transport, a boat carrying vaccine transport boxes allegedly capsized.)
Vaccine doses with damaged labels are discarded, Vergeire added.
"Yung iba naman may particulate matters dun sa bakuna sa ilalim ng bakuna...pagka ganun di na natin yan pinagaggamit," she said.
(Some have particulate matters that settle at the bottom of the vial...we don't use that.)
The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated 24.3 million, while 27.8 million have received their first dose as of Sunday, according to government data.