A waste of resources looms: 1.6-M COVID vaccines to expire in August — Concepcion
MANILA, Philippines — Some 1.6 million vaccines against COVID-19 purchased by the private sector are set to expire in August, resulting in hundreds of millions of pesos being thrown away, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said Tuesday.
At about $10 per dose, Concepcion said AstraZeneca and Moderna are among the vaccines included in the batch.
“By mid-August, about 1.6 million private-sector vaccines will expire. [Therefore,] we’re looking at hundreds of millions of pesos that the private sector will lose because these vaccines are expiring,” Concepcion said in a Pandesal forum.
To prevent the wastage, Concepcion renewed his appeal to the Health Technical Advisory Council (HTAC) to allow the general public to receive a second booster shot.
Currently, second booster shots can only be given to senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals.
Concepcion, a member of the Advisory Council of Experts, argued that the Philippines should give citizens second boosters immediately, as many countries do.
“The sense of urgency is quite not there. The private sector and the government is trying to do their best, but there’s a body that is somehow moving quite slow,” he said.
He noted how the vaccines were bought from the United States, which is already giving the second booster to their residents.
“If the Americans are the ones who invented these vaccines and then we bought [these] from them, shouldn’t we follow what CDC (Center for Disease Control) is doing? It’s the same thing,” Concepcion said.
While the government needs to focus on giving out first booster shots since uptake is still slow, Concepcion said the private sector should be able to use the vaccines they bought for their employees.
“The private sector bought these vaccines and we consider that it’s not going to be from the government allocation,” he said.
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