DOH to bring COVID-19 vaccines to other areas if hospitals don’t use them by March 24
MANILA, Philippines — Vaccines from hospitals with low uptake of COVID-19 inoculation shots will be taken and brought to areas with higher coronavirus cases if the vaccines would not be used by March 24, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that heads of vaccination sites should understand that the vaccine should not be stored for a long period of time.
“Pinag-aaralan po natin ‘yan kasi binigyan na po natin ng deadline ang ating mga hopital (We are studying that because we already gave hospitals a deadline). We have been vaccinating for a long time already and this vaccination should have been finished in a certain period of time na naibigay natin (we gave them),” Vergeire said in an online press briefing.
“So nagbigay tayo ulit ng deadline. Ang sabi natin kailangan mangyari na ‘yan by March 24. Kung hindi niyo pa magagamit, kukunin muna natin para mabakunahan ‘yung iba pang hindi nababakunahan dito sa matataas na kaso sa ibang area,” she added.
(So we gave a deadline again. We told them that they should vaccinate by March 24. If you won’t use the vaccines yet, we will take it so that it can be used by others who have yet to be vaccinated in areas with high cases.)
Vergeire said that the vaccination should be done “expeditiously” especially that the number of COVID-19 cases is rising.
“So nagbigay po ng deadline si Secretary of Health. Kapag hindi pa po naubos, hindi nila natapos in a certain time — I think it’s March 24, if I am not mistaken — amin pong kukunin, pero ibabalik naman natin,” she added.
(So the Secretary of Health gave a deadline. If they don’t use it up in a certain period of time — I think March 24, if I am not mistaken — we will get the vaccines. But we will later return doses of the same amount.)
Vergeire said the vaccines that will later arrive in the country may then be provided to areas where the vaccine doses will be retrieved.
A total of 336,656 frontliners have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as of March 20, according to DOH. The health department added that 1,105,600 of the 1,125,600 available doses have already been distributed to vaccination sites.
Vaccination is currently being conducted in 1,623 sites across the country, said the DOH.
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