By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is still waiting for the advice of the Department of Health (DOH) central office on what to do about the expired AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Claudelia Pabillo, head of the Provincial Storage Facility, said the vaccines are kept properly at the Provincial Cold Storage and there is a possibility that it would still be used for the vaccination.
She revealed that although the vaccines had an expiry date of November 30, 2021 authorities said its validity could still be extended for three months for as long as it is kept properly at the cold storage facility.
“It would depend on the assessment of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as they are the agency that issues the Emergency Use Authority (EUA) of the vaccines. We are waiting for the advice and instruction of the DOH central office,” Pabillo said.
The 1,462 vials or 14,620 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that already expired on November 30 was part of the delivery received by the province on November 8.
Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, earlier said city and municipal health offices were hesitant to accept the said vaccines after they learned that its expiration was already near.
“We value the vaccines and we really wanted to use them but we value more the vaccinees. The potency of the vaccine decreases as the period of expiration nears. So we don’t roll it out because it may not meet up the expected potency of the vaccinees. Both are important but we value more the safety of the vaccinees,” Diaz said./DGB, WDJ