'At least 100K' COVID-19 vaccine doses destroyed in Zamboanga del Sur fire–Roque

Published November 2, 2021, 1:11 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday, Nov. 2 that at least 100,000 doses of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines were affected by the fire that hit the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Government Center in Pagadian City.

Vials of COVID-19 vaccines. (Keith Bacongco/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“Kinukumpirma ko po na hindi bababa sa 100,000 doses ang naapektuhan, pero wala pa pong exacr numero dahil iniimbestigahan pa po (I confirm that no less than 100,000 doses were affected, but right now there is no exact number since it is still being investigated),” Roque said in a virtual press conference.

“Malungkot nga po itong balitang ito dahil ang nasunog po talaga ay yung regional DOH (Department of Health) office (This is really sad news since it’s the DOH regional office that was razed by fire),” he said.

Roque underscored that what he announced was just a “ballpark figure” and that the final number would be announced by vaccines czar Carlito Galvez Jr. once the probe is done.

“At this point I will say it is at least 100,000 affected. Pero mabilis naman po nating papalitan yan dahil hindi naman po problema ang supply (But we will replace the doses quickly as we don’t have a problem with supply),” the Palace mouthpiece said.

Despite giving this assurance to Zamboanga del Sur residents, Roque said: “Ito po talaga ay nangyayari, hindi po natin ninais na magkaroon ng ganyang sunog (Things like these happen, it was no our desire to have a fire like that).”

COVID-19 vaccines are widely known to be sensitive to temperature. They have to be kept in cold storage before use, otherwise they will spoil.