Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion has pinned the blame on the government for the wastage and expiration of 9.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
In a statement, Concepcion said majority of the wasted COVID19 vaccines were not under the safekeeping of the private sector, adding that there were gaps in government’s monitoring and reporting of the inventory, specifically the vaccines that the private sector were required to donate.
The private sector bought 23.5 million doses of COVID19 vaccines under a tripartite agreement with government and the vaccine manufacturers. About 9.4 million doses expired, including the 2.8 million doses donated to local government.
Concepcion said the number does not include other private sector initiatives and that government held these stocks as well.
He said delays in handing down the guidelines for administering the vaccines as well as the short shelf life and temperature excursion led to the wastage of the COVID-19 jabs.
The private sector has been proactive in pushing for the vaccinations and had urged the Health Technology Assessment Council to let people 50 years and older and those 18 to 49 years old with comorbidity to get a second booster shot as some were still hesitant to get their shots, similar to the guidelines of the US Food and Drug Authority.
“These are clearly several gaps that led to the expiry of the vaccines. Some of those gaps we tried to point out, such as the need to listen to the science and real-world data coming from abroad, and to act swiftly considering that our economy is on the line,” Concepcion said.
He suggested that government provide for the preregistration of those who want a second booster shot going forward and offered to provide the Department of Health with the list of private sector employees who want to get the second booster shot. This will ensure that the vaccines government buys will be used.
“We need to learn from this experience and lay down clear guidelines for vaccinations,” Concepcion said.
Local government units can also adopt a system of preregistration.
Concepcion suggested that government allow private hospitals and other healthcare facilities to buy the vaccines and pass on the cost to those who want the shots as vaccines against COVID19 have no certificate of product registration yet and are not commercially available. (Eileen Mencias)