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There is ample time to make use of expiring Covid-19 vaccines

A total of 1,516,040 doses of Covid-19 vaccines worth over ₱1 billion will expire end of this month. These vaccines were procured under the tripartite agreement “A Dose of Hope” with the private sector and the government.

Of the total expiring vaccines in warehouses, Moderna accounts for 887,360 doses and AstraZeneca, 628,680 doses. Half of the vaccines acquired are shared with the government.

At $5 each dose and ₱50 rate to the US dollar, the cost of 628,680 AstraZeneca doses would amount to ₱157.17 million, while the 887,360 Moderna doses at $27 per would translate to ₱1.197 billion for a total potential loss of ₱1.354 billion.

This prompted the private sector led by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion to reiterate his call to the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) to allow second booster vaccinations to more Filipinos. He even suggested that the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) should take on the role of the HTAC when it comes to vaccines.

Concepcion, a former economic adviser during the time of then President Rodrigo Duterte, is also a member of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) formed by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to help his administration achieve key economic goals.

Concepcion has been asking that second boosters be administered to workers, who are still not allowed to take second boosters. The government allows second Covid booster jabs only to seniors 60 years and up, healthcare workers, and immunocompromised persons.

Concepcion stressed that allowing second booster vaccinations to the members of the workforce will also help achieve Marcos’ goal of administering at least 23 million booster shots within his first 100 days in office.

There are barely two weeks left before these vaccines go to waste. If we are to save them and put them to good use, we still have time.

Government must mobilize its health authorities and the local government units to accelerate the vaccination of those qualified.

It is not just a waste of resources, but also a sin, to allow these Covid-19 vaccines to expire when lots of people in this world are in dire need of proper health protection.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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