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BOC-NAIA facilitates release of over 6M Covid-19 vaccines

US-DONATED VAX. A forklift operator transfers the boxes containing the 2,020,590 doses of Pfizer vaccine to a delivery truck shortly after the shipment’s arrival via Emirates Flight EK2520 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City on Sunday night (Sept. 19, 2021). The more than 2 million Pfizer vaccines were donated by the United States government through the COVAX Facility. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has processed over 6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine in four shipments in the last two days.

In a statement on Monday, the bureau said it released a total of 6,171,590 doses of Covid-19 vaccine that arrived on September 18 and 19.

A total of 961,000 doses of Moderna and 190,000 doses of Sputnik V were delivered on September 18 while 3 million doses of Sinovac, procured by the government, and 2,020,590 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, donated by the United States through COVAX Facility, arrived on September 19.

The shipments arrived at the NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3 and were immediately loaded in reefer vans that transported them to the designated cold storage facility by the Department of Health, Pharmaserve Cold Storage Facility in Parañaque, underguarded by the Customs-NAIA CoVax Task Force and other enforcement agencies.

As of date, more than 64 million doses of eight brands of Covid-19 vaccine have been facilitated by the port since February 2021.

Of the number, 36 million are Sinovac, 9.56 million are AstraZeneca, 3.24 million are Johnson & Johnson, 8.6 million are Pfizer, 5.26 million are Moderna, 570,000 are Sputnik V, 1 million are Sinopharm, and 100,000 Hayat-Vax vaccines.

PharmaServ Express, the national logistics partner of the DOH, has ensured that no Covid-19 vaccine has been wasted from storage to careful packing and distribution to local government units since April 2021.

“From Day One of the country’s vaccine rollout, PharmaServ Express assures the Filipino people that we have always ensured the vaccines we have handled are intact and maintained,” PharmaServ Express president Andrian Perez in a statement.

Perez made the remark after a DOH official mentioned in a radio interview that 10,000 doses of Covid-19 have been wasted since the government began its inoculation program.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the “biggest wastage” was recorded in a storage facility at a major vaccination site in Filinvest, Muntinlupa City due to change in temperature in the said facility.

The number also includes the vaccines that were damaged during a fire incident in South Cotabato and the jabs that were spoiled after a freezer was left unplugged in North Cotabato. There were instances that some vials were dropped or had no labels.

On the other hand, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire clarified that the number of wastage is within the acceptable range of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“That’s why ang World Health Organization, meron silang lagi talagang sinasabi na this is the 5 percent wastage which is acceptable for everybody, for all the countries,” she said Monday. (PNA)

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