Muntinlupa suspends Pfizer vaccination at Festival Mall site due to storage problem

Published July 15, 2021, 1:18 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The Muntinlupa City COVID-19 Vaccination Program (MunCoVac) team on Thursday suspended the second dose vaccination using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after it was found out there was a change in temperature during its storage that could have affected its quality.

In an announcement, MunCoVac said the suspension covers the vaccination site at Festival Mall in Alabang where the vaccines are also stored.

The Muntinlupa vaccination site at Festival Mall in Alabang (Muntinlupa PIO)

“The city government decided to suspend the vaccination at Festival Mall Vaccination Site starting July 15 while their storage facility is being fixed,” said MunCoVac.

Based on evaluation, there was a change in temperature in the storage facility that could have an effect on the vaccines’ quality.

MunCoVac had earlier announced that the second dose vaccination using Pfizer-BioNTech at Festival Mall was to be held from July 14 to 17.

Only the vaccination at Festival Mall is covered by the advisory. Other vaccination sites are not affected .

According to the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the country’s Food and Drug Administration, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines should be stored at temperatures ranging from minus 80 to minus 60 degree Celsius before dilution. One vial of the vaccine contains six doses of 0.3 mL each.

Due to the storage temperature problem, MunCoVac said it has decided not to use the vaccines stored at Festival Mall, adding, “It is better to be sure as the safety of the people is at stake here.”

People who were already at the vaccination site were told that they would be rescheduled for inoculation.

One of those who were scheduled for vaccination Thursday was Broadway Star Lea Salonga, who got her first Pfizer-BioNTech shot at the Festival Mall site last June 18.

“We would like to apologize to those who were scheduled at Festival Mall Vaccination Site. The MunCoVac team is currently sending text messages and please wait for the notice of your new schedule,” added MunCoVac.

The Muntinlupa Vaccination Team is also contacting the national government on the proper decision regarding the vaccines.

“We assure that those affected will be vaccinated, especially those who were scheduled for second dose. According to the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center (Advisory 62), you can receive the second dose three to six months after the first dose,” said MunCoVac.

As of July 12, Muntinlupa has vaccinated 152,900 individuals with the first dose, or 39.6 percent of the target population of 385,725, and 70,536 individuals with the second dose, or 18.3 percent of the target.

A total of 282,726 individuals have already registered with the Muntinlupa City COVID-19 Vaccination Program, or 73.3 percent of the target.