Unstable power supply delays COVID vaccination in the provinces

Published October 28, 2021, 3:36 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Unstable power supply in some of the provinces of the country has been preventing the national government form implementing a full-blown vaccination program, the government’s vaccine czar said on Thursday, Oct 28.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said the threat of vaccine spoilage is the chief reason why a small quantity of the vaccines are being shipped to the provinces, especially in far-flung areas.

“There are geographically-challenged areas and the vaccines we have been receiving are very sensitive. In that factor, most of our municipalities do not have stable electricity so we really have to plan the delivery,” said Galvez during a press briefing after the delivery of 896,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines which were donated by the Japanese government.

“So there is really delay because of the distance of the areas where the vaccines would be delivered and that these vaccines need stable temperature,” he added.

COVID-19 vaccines have to maintain a temperature ranging from -17 degree Celsius to -20 degree Celsius.

Another factor, according to Galvez, is that most of the areas which were not affected by the COVID-19 have high rate of resistance from vaccination.

Such factor led to the slowing down of the vaccination in the past days wherein the average vaccination per day was only 300,000.

In order to address the problem, Galvez said that he met with leaders and heads of the Local Government Units (LGUs) to come up with the plan on how to effectively deliver the vaccine and map out strategies to increase the vaccination rate in the province.

The meeting, according to Galvez, helped a lot in developing confidence among local government units which led to the high vaccination rate recorded on Friday last week with more than 700,000.

The national government is targeting 50 million Filipinos to be vaccinated before the end of the year. Galvez said they have enough supply of vaccines in order to accomplish this goal.

He said that the number of Filipinos that would be vaccinated are expected to increase as the national government starts the vaccination of minors next week.