MANILA — Around 49.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been wasted, the Department of Health revealed before the Senate Tuesday.
Senator Pia Cayetano, DOH's budget sponsor, said of the figure, 26.2 million doses were donated while 23.5 million doses were procured by the government.
The said data was disclosed during the Senate plenary deliberations on the proposed P353.2 billion budget of the agency for 2024.
Cayetano, however, said that majority of the wasted COVID-19 vaccines were because of its expiration beyond shelf life.
"We'd like to emphasize... that napakaiksi talaga ng shelf life ng mga COVID-vaccines, 6 months po 'yun," she said.
She also emphasized that most of the COVID-19 vaccines that were donated to the Philippines had only 3 months of shelf life.
"And then 'yung mga na-donate pa po ay 3 months. So it's really, meron pa nga raw ay one month lang ang shelf life," Cayetano said.
"So it's something that, in a way, it does not surprise the experts because with a shelf life that short, talagang maeexpire-an po tayo," she added.
NO MORE FUNDS FOR COVID VACCINES IN 2024
The DOH also revealed that they would not be appropriating any fund for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines next year.
"At least, we have a categorical answer. We will no longer (be) appropriating any fund for the procurement of vaccines in the 2024 budget,” said Cayetano.
In her opening statement, Cayetano said total new appropriations of the Department of Health under the Committee Report is P353,269,108,000, with the following breakdown:
For DOH - Office of the Secretary, the total new appropriation is P242,488,933,000
National Nutrition Council, total new appropriation of P824,210,000
Philippine National AIDS Council, total new appropriation of P43,916,000
Lung Center of the Philippines, total new appropriation of P1,191,107,000
National Kidney and Transplant Institute, total new appropriation of P1,946,054,000
Philippine Children's Medical Center, total new appropriation of P2,355,587,000
Philippine Heart Center, total new appropriation of P2,730,814,000
Philippine Institute for Traditional and Alternative Healthcare, total new appropriation of P173,854,000
PhilHealth, total new appropriation of P101,514,633,000
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Koko Pimentel asked if the department is updating their COVID-19 response protocol, after he mentioned that other countries are reviewing their respective COVID-19 programs.
To which Cayetano said, “it has been submitted to the Office of the Executive Secretary.”
The Senate has approved DOH's proposed budget.
FROM OUR ARCHIVES