DOH: 7,500 doses of AstraZeneca jab returned from Bicol 'in usable condition' | Inquirer News
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DOH: 7,500 doses of AstraZeneca jab returned from Bicol ‘in usable condition’

/ 06:27 PM March 24, 2021
DOH: 7,500 doses of AstraZeneca jab returned from Bicol 'in usable condition'

FILE PHOTO: Empty vials of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a vaccination center in Antwerp, Belgium March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — The 7,500 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that were returned by authorities from Bicol to the Department of Health (DOH) can still be used, the agency assured Wednesday.

“We have yet to receive the official report on this but preliminary findings show that the temperature device was faulty and the vaccines remain in usable condition,” DOH said in a statement.

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Authorities from the Bicol Region returned at least 7,500 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to the DOH central office on Sunday because the vials had been packed with defective thermometers.

“The thermometer was defective, so we didn’t know if the vaccines were still within the allowed temperature which is between 2 to 8 degrees Centigrade,” Noemi Bron, DOH Bicol public affairs chief, earlier said.

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The vaccine developed by the British-Swedish drugmaker needs to be stored in temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

The returned batch was part of the 22,000 doses of AstraZeneca jab delivered to the Bicol Region on March 10.

Latest data from the Department of Health and the National Task Force against COVID-19 showed that the Philippines has already vaccinated 508,332 individuals as of March 23.

At least 98 percent of the available vaccines or 1,105,500 of the 1,125,600 have already been distributed to various regions, according to DOH.

To date, all COVID-19 vaccines being used in the government’s inoculation program against the new coronavirus disease were donated by China or obtained through the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.

KGA

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