Drilon slams DOH, IATF over 27M unused vaccine doses
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Sunday slammed the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for allowing 27 million doses of COVIDD-19 vaccines to remain unused as they neared expiry.
“More than two years into the pandemic, the IATF still manages to mismanage the government’s response to the pandemic. It is unconscionable that the vaccines that were purchased through loans could end up in the garbage,” Drilon said.
“It is criminal neglect if they let that happen. I’d like to remind the DOH and the IATF that it is Juan dela Cruz who will pay for these vaccines,” he added.
He reiterated the fact that the purchase of millions of COVID-19 vaccines raised the country’s debt from P9 trillion pre-pandemic to P12 trillion as of February 2022.
Drilon said that, at P500 per dose, the government would be throwing away P13.5 billion if the 27 million doses would not be administered within the next three months.
The money, he said, could have been used instead to augment the aid for public utility vehicle drivers and operators affected by the increase in fuel prices.
“I hope we are not resting on our laurels. The coronavirus is still within our midst. We must ramp up our vaccination efforts. We have 27 million doses of vaccines that are close to their expiration dates. The DOH and IATF should distribute in the most efficient manner,” Drilon stressed.
“Let’s not pass on the expired vaccine to the next administration,” he said in Filipino.
27 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to expire in July, says Concepcion
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