DOH: Pharmacies, clinics to offer Sinovac, AstraZeneca boosters for now
MANILA, Philippines — Pharmacies and clinics participating in the government’s “Resbakuna sa Botika” program can only offer Sinovac and AstraZeneca COVID-19 booster doses for now as these do not require special storage, a health official said on Thursday.
“Resbakuna sa Botika” which rolls out on January 20 and 21, aims to give COVID-19 vaccines in select pharmacies and clinics in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Initially, ang ibibigay natin ay Sinovac at saka AstraZeneca kasi dapat maging gamay ng ating mga pharmacists, ‘yung magbabakuna, ‘yung mga bakuna,” Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said during the Laging Handa briefing.
(Initially, we will give Sinovac and AstraZeneca to familiarize the pharmacists who will be the ones giving the vaccines.)
“Kaya inumpisahan muna natin ng Sinovac at saka AstraZeneca kasi pwede sa regular refrigerator, ‘yung tinatawag nating domestic,” she explained.
(That is why we started with Sinovac and AstraZeneca because these can be stored in regular refrigerators, what we call domestic.)
The more sensitive vaccine brands like Pfizer and Moderna could be deployed after Phase 1 or 2 of the implementation, Cabotaje said.
“After the Phase 1 or the Phase 2, tignan natin kung pwede nang bigyan ng ibang bakuna kasi ‘yung Pfizer at saka ‘yung Moderna kaunting sensitive handling,” she added.
(After the Phase 1 or the Phase 2, we will assess if we could provide other vaccine brands because Pfizer and Moderna have sensitive handling.)
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can be stored and transported at -80 degrees Celsius, -20 degrees Celsius, and 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Shelf life is lowered as the shot is transferred from one storage temperature to another.
Meanwhile, Moderna’s unopened vials may be stored in a freezer set at -50 degrees Celsius and -15 degrees Celsius.
Cabotaje also said the Resbakuna sa Botika program may be expanded to areas outside Metro Manila by February.
“After the first rollout, after one week and evaluation, NCR-wide muna tayo and then after NCR-wide, siguro by second week or third week of February, pwede nating umpisahan sa iba’t ibang panig ng ating bansa, based on the readiness assessment of our regional offices kung sino ang willing at ready,” the undersecretary said.
(After the first rollout, after one week and evaluation, we will expand NCR-wide and after NCR-wide, maybe by second or third week of February, we can start in other areas of the country, based on the readiness assessment of our regional offices, whoever is willing and ready.)
The following pharmacies and clinics are participating in the Resbakuna sa Botika launch:
Healthway Manila Clinic
Mercury Drug Malate, Pres. Quirino Ave.
South Star Drug Marikina
Watsons, SM Supercenter Pasig
Generika Drugstore Signal 1 in Taguig
The Generics Pharmacy, Parañqaque
Qualimed Clinic, McKinley Road in Makati
As of January 19, the country has fully vaccinated 56.4 million persons in the country, data from the Department of Health showed.
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