Vaccines lost as fire hits Misamis Oriental health office
Several vials of vaccines, including stocks for COVID-19, were lost in a three-hour blaze that destroyed the Misamis Oriental provincial health office in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday night.
Dr. Jerie Calingasan, provincial health officer, said vaccines for tuberculosis, polio and COVID-19, among others, were kept in the office’s storage areas at the time of the fire.
But he assured that these were not in large quantities as his office was regularly sending batches of vaccines to the province’s rural health stations, which conduct vaccination drives.
Calingasan said at least 6,000 health workers in the province had been inoculated before the fire struck.
Supt. Alan Cabot, Cagayan de Oro City fire district director, said arson investigators recovered a vaccine container at the burnt two-story building but he could not say whether the 30 CoronaVac vials kept inside it could still be used.
Calingasan said it was a “blessing” that they did not claim on Wednesday the undetermined number of vials of the Chinese-made CoronaVac that the Department of Health had set aside for Misamis Oriental. The vaccines arrived in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday.Cabot said the fire broke out at 6:30 p.m. in the nearby kitchen of the Provincial Engineering Office motorpool and quickly spread to the Provincial Health Office building, which has wooden interiors.
Cabot said the fire was declared under control at 8:43 p.m. and was put out close to an hour later. —REPORTS FROM RYAN D.
ROSAURO AND JIGGER JERUSALEM
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