PH has enough supply of syringes for COVID-19 vaccines: DOH


Posted at Dec 14 2021 08:29 PM

Health workers prepare to administer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine inside the Makati Coliseum on June 29, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Health workers prepare to administer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine inside the Makati Coliseum on June 29, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Health said Tuesday it has enough supply of vaccine syringes following the accusation of Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr that it "dropped the ball" with a foreign supplier.

The agency has given funds to its regional offices to procure alternative tuberculin syringes for Pfizer vaccines as it awaits the arrival of 40 million more 0.3 milliliter syringes, said Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

"Gusto lang ho namin ipaalam na wala naman talagang issue sa aming mga hiringgilya. Ito pong mga hiringgilya na atin pong kailangan para sa COVID-19 vaccination, meron ho tayong sapat na supply," she told reporters.

(We just want to inform you that there's no issue regarding syringes. We have enough supply of syringes needed for COVID-19 vaccination.)

"Meron ho tayong parating pa na around 40 million sa unang parte ng taon next year. Pagdating next year, we will have enough supply of these 0.3 syringes."

(Around 40 million syringes will arrive early next year. Once these arrive, we will have enough supply of these 0.3 syringes.)

Health Sec. Francisco Duque III disputed Locsin's claim that he delegated the task of communicating with the foreign supplier with "junior" officers.

"No, that’s not correct because the communication, the representative of Sec. Vince Dizon, he had facilitated the connection of the supposed supplier with our Undersecretary of procurement and supply chain management office, and who in turn had to consult the program managers as to the technical aspects and pricing that are required in the procurement process," Duque told ANC's Dateline Philippines.

"Assuming that the junior officers are also in the loop, what's wrong with that? These are very competent staff, they know what they're doing. I trust them, I completely believe in their competence to provide necessary information in a most transparent manner."

Duque said he has not received any communication from Locsin regarding the purchase of syringes, adding that there might be "confusion" as the top diplomat was talking about 0.3 ml syringes, which the DOH was not procuring at the moment.

“What we are procuring are 0.5ml syringes. And as part of our pool of suppliers, we invited as many suppliers as we can to get the best price for the government," he said in a statement.

Dizon said, “Tingin ko naman po, very clear naman po na walang nag-drop ng ball.” 

“Siguro nagkaroon lang ng miscommunication,” the deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said in a televised public briefing. 

(I think it’s very clear no one dropped the ball. Perhaps there was just miscommunication.) 

President Rodrigo Duterte's office has been informed of the issue, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles. 

“Asahan po ninyo na kami po, tayo po ay magkakaroon tayo ng updates at mabibigyan din ng linaw ang lahat na ito sa susunod na pagkakataon,” Nograles told separate press briefing. 

(Expect that we will have updates and all these would be clarified at another time.) 

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