QUEZON CITY, (PIA) – The Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility has offered to replace for free the expiring COVID-19 vaccines acquired thru donations and procured by the government, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
In Laging Handa briefing on Saturday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire noted the department are currently requesting to COVAX if it could also replace not only the donated vaccines received by the country, but also those directly procured by the government.
"May commitment na rin naman po sa COVAX verbally, kung saan nag-commit naman sila na maaari naman nilang palitan, kahit na hindi iyong mga donation nila, iyong mga prinocure natin, na set to expire ay maaari din daw nilang palitan,” Vergeire said.
The DOH reported before, around 3.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses donated to the Philippines, which is about 1.46 percent of the total vaccine inventory have expired.
The 1.46 percent vaccine wastage is lower than the 10 percent indicative wastage rate used by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Vergeire stressed the department had complied with the requests made by COVAX, including the use of a "demand forecasting tool" to show the actual number of vaccines in the stockpiles and the doses Manila would still need in the coming months.
"Hinihintay po natin iyong response nila pero they already were able to set a meeting with us by next week,” Vergeire added.
COVAX is a joint initiative of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and World Health Organization (WHO), which serve as a global vaccine-sharing program to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines will reach poorer countries. (JAFD/PIA-IDPD)