MANILA – About 200,000 Moderna COVID-19 shots bought by the private sector may expire soon if they are not used, a doctor said Friday.
“We think that it’s almost about 200,000 to 300,000 Moderna shots that may be expiring from the private sector,” Dr. Benjamin Co, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist from the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, said on ANC’s “Rundown.”
Co noted that these were the vaccines bought by the private sector but ended up in the warehouses because their intended recipients already received their COVID-19 jabs from the government.
“We ordered the vaccines, I’m sure the private sector many in the private sector went to rush to order the vaccines. Fortunately… the vaccines of the government came ahead and so everybody took advantage of the vaccines that were available by the government.”
“And a lot of those in the private sector, who ordered from the private sector started to waive their rights to the vaccine, started selling off their slot for that particular vaccine and, that’s where we ended up right now,” he said.
Asked what can be done now about these vaccines, Co said they can now be used to inoculate children.
“The Philippines is one of the countries in the world that has approved 12 to 17 years old for Moderna. That’s not also approved in the US. What is approved in the US is the Pfizer vaccine. And some European countries have also been skeptical about approving Moderna in children because it has relatively a higher dose compared to Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.”
“So if we want to use Moderna in children because it has an EUA approval in the Philippines then it can be used,” he said.
The Philippines has so far vaccinated more than 1,500 minors with comorbidities in an expansion of its jab coverage against COVID-19.
The Moderna jab is one of two brands allowed by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration to be given to children.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion has also said that children of private sector employees may be vaccinated against COVID-19 in November to avoid vaccine wastage, as some Moderna jabs are set to expire on November 27.
"It's not too late, November we can start jabbing the first dose, and we will be able to consume all of those soon to expire. But it's not really very, it's still on November 27," he told ANC's "Top Story."
--ANC, 22 October 2021