Expired Covid jabs to hit 50-M
The number of expired Covid-19 vaccine doses in the Philippines is expected to breach the 50-million mark by the end of the month, the Department of Health told the Senate on Thursday.
Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire rattled off the figure after she was asked by Sen. Francis Tolentino to confirm that 6.74 million Covid vaccine doses are expiring by the end of the month.
“If this will happen, that will be 44 million plus 6.74 million for a total of 50.74 million vaccines wasted?” Tolentino asked.
Vergeire confirmed the lawmaker’s mathematical assumption. “I confirm that this would be the number if we include the doses that are expiring at the end of March,” she said.
Citing the declining vaccination rate, Vergeire said more Covid-19 vaccines were expiring in the coming months. “That might happen but for now, based on the inventories, the succeeding expiry dates of the vaccines would be in September 2023,” she said.
The weekly Covid-19 vaccination rate in the country stands at 46,000 doses.
Vergeire attributed the low vaccine uptake to vaccine hesitancy. The Senate Blue Ribbon was conducting a hearing on vaccination procurement of the past administration.
A total of 73.8 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated, or 94.62 percent of the eligible population.
Meanwhile, 21.5 million Filipinos have received a booster, equivalent to 27.65 percent of the eligible population.
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