Expert calls for ‘vaccine transparency’ in PH

Published May 27, 2022, 6:50 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

Transparent inventory of Covid-19 vaccines may help the national government monitor the status of active and remaining jabs in the country, a health expert said on Friday, May 27.

A health worker showing Covid-19 vaccines (Ali Vicoy / Manila Bulletin)

Health reform advocate and former special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon said that vaccines may be deployed as soon as possible if the country knows the vaccination and booster rate per region.

“We don’t have a transparent status of the inventory of vaccines: active, near expiring, and total volume which have expired. We [also] need to know the vaccination and booster rate per region so we can deploy [vaccines as soon as possible] to the low areas given the entry of sub variants in [the Philippines],” said Leachon in a Facebook post.

The expert, on May 22, urged the national government to “prioritize and maximize” the first booster or third vaccine shot, reiterating that this may help prevent vaccine wastage and possibly prevent re-emergence of Covid-19 surge.

Meanwhile, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, on Friday, May 27, said that almost two million vaccines are set to expire by the end of June. However, Cabotaje clarified they are now coordinating with COVAX facility to request for vaccine replacement.

A total of 70,754,670 Filipinos have so far completed their primary dose of vaccines as of May 27. Of this number, only 14,027,031 individuals have been boosted against the disease.