Malacañang to order 'subcontractors' to hasten distribution of AstraZeneca, Pfizer vaccines

Published May 13, 2021, 4:14 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Malacanang will instruct the “subcontractors” hired by the government to speed up the deployment of both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines in order to meet the suggested expiry of the jabs, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque (File photo/Malacañang)

Roque made this statement in the wake of concerns aired by some sectors that some two million vaccines would just go to waste due to the alleged “slow distribution” process.

“So, sasabihan po natin iyong ating mga subcontractors na pabilisan iyong kanilang deployment dahil istratehiya nga po natin para mabuksan natin ang ekonomiya, na bukod pa sa mask, hugas, iwas ay kinakailangan magpabakuna na. (So we will tell our subcontractors to fast-track their deployment because our strategy is to really open the economy. Aside from the mask, washing and prevention, we need to be vaccinated),” Roque said.

This file photo taken on November 23, 2020 shows an illustration picture of a syringe and a bottle reading “Covid-19 Vaccine” next to AstraZeneca company and University of Oxford logos. (AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The Palace official assured that the process is not really slow but instead, certain procedures have to be followed in order to ensure the quality of the jabs

“So nag-iingat po tayo, pinag-aaralan po natin talaga sa pamamagitan ng certificate of analysis (We are being careful, we’re closely studying through the certificate of analysis),” he said.

Former IATF adviser Dr. Tony Leachon earlier warned that the available 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine should be administered immediately as these are facing expirations in June and July, respectively.

“Now iyong dumating naman pong 2 million na AstraZeneca at saka iyong Pfizer, mayroon po talaga tayong mga subcontractors na sila ang nagdi-deploy dahil nga po mayroong mga temperature requirements ‘no. (Now the 2 million AstraZeneca and the Pfizer, we have subcontractors who are tasked to deploy them because of the prescribed temperature requirements,” Roque said.

Currently, the country’s vaccine supply is more or less around 7.78 million, enough to fully vaccinate around 3.57 percent of the country’s population.

The Palace spokesperson explained that on the 1.5 million doses Sinovac vaccine, 500,000 have so far been deployed in Metro Manila after securing a certificate of analysis. This certificate, he said, is important to ensure that the quality of the new vaccine from the previous one is similar.