80M doses of vaccines still in warehouses, 27M expiring
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion on Tuesday renewed his call for the public to get their booster shots for COVID-19, saying there were 80 million doses currently stored in warehouses, with 27 million of these set to expire in July.
“The 80 million doses of various brands of COVID-19 vaccines with an estimated worth of P40 billion are currently stored in the Department of Health’s (DOH) third party logistics warehouses, regional warehouses and Zuellig’s warehouse,” he said in a statement.
Concepcion stressed the importance of fully vaccinated individuals getting a third dose or booster shot to get an additional blanket of protection against the virus.
“Remember that the efficacy of the first two doses wanes after five to six months. Booster shot is a must so we can get additional layer of protection against COVID-19,” he said.
According to Concepcion, getting boosted would also help spare the Philippines from surges happening in other countries due to the emergence of various COVID-19 variants.
“We need to take the booster to protect ourselves as variants have been hitting other countries. The government has purchased these vaccines and the slow uptake will lead to vaccines expiring, aside from waning immunity,” he said.
In an online briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also reiterated the government’s call for those who have yet to complete their primary COVID-19 doses or get booster shots to do so.
Only 12.5 million individuals have been boosted, representing only 26 percent of the eligible population, according to latest government data. Fully vaccinated individuals stood at 66.7 million, or about 74 percent of the target 90 million population.
She said that as of March 26, data showed that most of those who died (76 percent) or were hospitalized (63 percent) due to COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated.
The DOH’s latest weekly COVID-19 case bulletin also reported that confirmed fatalities rose to 428 from 329 from April 5 to April 11 but some of these were backlogs.
—WITH A REPORT FROM KATHLEEN DE VILLA