DoH: All expired COVID-19 vaccines will be replaced by COVAX

The Department of Health (DoH) on Tuesday announced that all expired COVID-19 vaccines, including those procured by the private sector, will be replaced by the COVAX facility.

“We had an agreement with the COVAX facility that these expired vaccines will all be replaced, even those that expired from the private sector and local government units,” Health Officer-in-Charge Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press conference.

However, Vergeire noted that the replacement of expired COVID-19 vaccines will not be delivered immediately.

“There will be scheduled days of replacement because we are scheduling these replacements at the time we need them,” she said. “Right now, we still have sufficient vaccines. The replacements will be delivered when the supplies are depleted.”

Last week, Senator Risa Hontiveros, one of the two-member minority bloc in the Senate, filed a resolution seeking to investigate reports of unused and expired COVID-19 vaccines amounting to P5 billion to P13 billion.

Between April to July, it is possible that there were between 4 to 27 million unused and expired COVID-19 vaccine doses thrown away, equivalent to a whopping P5 to P13 billion, according to Hontiveros.

Earlier, former Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion blamed the Department of Health and the Health Technology Assessment Council for the loss of a total of P5.1 billion of private sector money after some 4.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines expired.


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