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DOH says 44-M vax wastage still within WHO’s ‘allowable limit’  

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Department of Health (DOH) Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday bared that Covid-19 vaccine wastage had increased to 44 million from 31 million for the past week.

“Last week, we reported 31 million wastage. Now, it is already at 44 million based on our inventories,” Vergeire said in a news briefing, adding that the reports on vaccine wastage is progressive.

There were some 3.8 million wastage due to “operational wastage,” such as temperature excursion, discoloration and natural disaster, while some 24 million doses have expired.

“Our inventory is continuously happening,” Vergeire added.

However, she said that the number of the wastage is still “within the allowable” rate set by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is 25 to 30 percent. The 44 million is 17.5 percent out of all vaccines in the country.

Earlier, former Health Secretary and Iloilo Representative Janet Garin said that the DOH and the Health Technology Assessment Council   (HTAC) should share the blame for the vaccine wastage.

However, Vergeire was quick to disagree, saying it is unfair to pin the blame to the experts.

“I think it’s unfair that we accuse, that the HTAC is to be blamed for this kind of issue that we have right now. Pag tinignan natin sa kabuuan, marami ho talagang factors [If we look at the whole picture, there are a lot of factors actually],” Vergeire said.

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