Robredo alarmed over ‘huge number’ of missing COVID-19 vaccines

Published June 6, 2021, 12:44 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Whether it’s one million as earlier reported or 113,000 as clarified by the Department of Health (DOH), Vice President Leni Robredo said the government should “fix the system” to ensure that everyone who got inoculated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine gets their second dose, too.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Jansen Romero/Manila Bulletin)

Speaking on her Sunday radio show with radioman Ely Saludar, Robredo said that if the government has to help the people get to the vaccination sites, then they should do it so everyone can get their second dose.

“Nakakatakot pa din, Ka Ely. Kahit sabihin pa natin 113,000 yan, ano pa din malaki pa din. And naghahabol tayo ng numbers, naghahabol tayo ng iyong supplies hindi mag-expire so dapat iyong sistema talaga para masiguro na babalik iyong mga tao siguruhin (It is still alarming, Ka Ely. Even if they say it’s only 113,000, it’s still a big number. And we are catching up to reach numbers, we are running after supplies, so they don’t expire so the system should make sure that the people will come back),” Robredo stressed.

“Sana mahanap nila. Sabihin pa natin kahit 113,000, sana mahanap nila iyon kasi sayang (Hopefully, they find them. Even if it’s just 113,000, we hope that they can find them because it’s going to waste if they don’t).”

READ: Only 9% of vaccinees missed second dose of COVID-19 jab – DOH

She insisted that since the government has admitted that they cannot control the arrival of the vaccine supply because of the problems in the global demand, what it can ensure is that the system is already in place once the vaccines are delivered.

The lady official also emphasized the need to improve the logistical process or how the vaccines are being distributed to different local government units.

Dr. John Wong, an epidemiologist working under a subtechnical working group on data analytics for the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, gave an estimate last week that half of the 2.1 million individuals who have already received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine had yet to return for the second dose.

Vaccine brands have different intervals between the first and second shots. Sinovac needs an interval of 30 days while AstraZeneca requires three months.

The country’s vaccine czar, Carlito Galvez Jr., who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, clarified that only 9 percent or 113,000 vaccinees missed the second dose of their vaccines.

He also said that 1.25 million individuals have already been fully inoculated with the Sinovac’s vaccine.