Escudero: Gov't must allot available COVID-19 jabs by 2 doses if supply uncertain | Inquirer News

Escudero: Gov’t must allot available COVID-19 jabs by 2 doses if supply uncertain

/ 08:42 PM March 24, 2021

Escudero: Gov't must allot available COVID-19 jabs by 2 doses if supply uncertain

Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero. Photo by Christian Cardano from Escudero’s office

MANILA, Philippines — Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Wednesday urged the government to divide the allocation of available COVID-19 vaccines by two so that the first dose given to frontliners would not be wasted if the arrival of more vaccines is still uncertain.

According to Escudero, the Department of Health (DOH) “should consider the expiration of the vaccines, as well as the amount of time in between the 1st and 2nd dose (because it differs), in distributing and coming up w strategies on how to best allocate it.”


“If arrivals cannot be ascertained, they should divide the allocation by 2 (in order to secure the 2nd dose) so as not to lay to waste the inoculation of the 1st dose given that the 1st and 2nd dose should come from the same supplier,” said the former senator.


He also said that “it’s a basic ‘time-and-motion’ strategy in the roll-out of the vaccines.”

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved the recommendation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to use all currently available AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in the country as first-dose shots for healthcare workers amid continuously rising coronavirus cases.

The directive means that the country will use all the 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca jab donated by the global vaccine sharing pool COVAX Facility as first doses instead of setting aside some doses for second shots.

Duque earlier assured that the Philippines can expect a new shipment of doses from COVAX within the 12-week time interval for administering the two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

On March 12, DOH also made certain that there is enough time to administer the remaining AstraZeneca vaccine before they expire in May.

Escudero, in a tweet on March 15, said “this could really be done had DOH issued their memo imposing several requirements before the roll-out of the vaccines in provinces earlier and have enough people to validate.”


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TAGS: Coronavirus, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Health, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, Virus

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