Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Read: 49.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines wasted – Sen. Pia Cayetano

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 49.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been wasted in the Philippines, Sen. Pia Cayetano said early Wednesday morning.

Cayetano, the sponsor of the Department of Health(DOH) budget for 2024, said 38.54 million of these wasted vaccines had expired.

“The COVID-19 vaccine wastage is 49.7 million doses. The reason for this wastage is expiration beyond shelf life,” Cayetano during the Senate’s plenary debates on the 2024 national budget bill.

But she said vaccine wastage was inevitable as their shelf life was “really very short.”

“I don’t know if it’s correct to say it, but in a way, it does not surprise the experts because with a shelf life that short, it will really expire,” Cayetano said.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III asked her whether the DOH would allocate any funds in its 2024 budget for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

“No, Mr. President,” Cayetano said.

Still, Filipinos may still expect fresh COVID-19 vaccines as the COVAX facility has offered to donate 500,000 doses of bivalent vaccines to the Philippines.