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Philippines looking to cut time, vibration in delivery of COVID-19 vaccines

Philippine officials are looking to cut the time it took to transport dummy vaccine shipments during the simulation they conducted on Tuesday when the actual COVID-19 vaccines arrive for distribution to the inoculation facilities soon.

Vaccines czar Secretary Carlito Galvez added that the movement of the vaccines should be done with minimal vibration after the box--supposedly containing 117,000 doses--shook at the airport lifter at the NAIA during the dry run.

"Nagshe-shake yung mga ano. 'Yun yung sinasabi naming dapat i-minimize dahil sensitive yung mga vaccines," Galvez said in Jun Veneracion and JP Soriano's report on "24 Oras".

The vaccines are said to be sensitive and could be spoiled if the vials vibrated too much.

The time needed to transport from the NAIA and process the "vaccines" at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine was faster than the target but Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said it could be better.

"Kun mapaiksi ang proseso from 120 minutes to 60 minutes, so much the better,"  Duque said.

The trio from NAIA to RITM was up to par at 20 minutes.

The unloading, receiving, inspection, and putting away to storage facilities at RITM took 83 minutes. The process was expected to take 120 to 150 minutes.

From the RITM the shipments were dispatched to the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Tala, Caloocan City.

Portions of the shipment were also sent back to the NAIA for their supposed flights to  Cebu and Davao.

PGH, Lung Center

According to Sandra Aguinaldo and Chino Gaston’s report on “24 Oras,” police riders escorted the van that transported the “vaccines” from the RITM to the PGH and Lung Center.

"Protesters" met the shipment at the entrance but the supposed vaccines reached the PGH central pharmacy in less than ten minutes. The facility's ultra low cold storage will store the doses at -70 degrees Celsius.

“Bago nilabas, meron silang thermometer at doon nakitang -70. Otherwise, kapag hindi ‘yun, edi syempre na-break na ‘yung cold chain,” PGH spokesperson Dr. Jonas del Rosario said.

Del Rosario, however, said some improvements have to be made to make the arrival of the real vaccines smoother.

“Daming tao, ‘yun lang naman ‘yung gusot no? Kasi bago nangyari itong simulation, na-inspect na rin ng DOH kung saan namin dadalin,” Del Rosario said.

“Ang isang napaka importante ay ‘yung bawal pala malubak ‘yung vaccine na ‘yan. So sinisiguro namin na ‘yung dadaanan namin ay hindi masagsag,” he added.

Five hundred employees of PGH will is set to be vaccinated in COVID-designated hospitals.

Around 5,000 hospital personnel, including janitors and security guards, are set to be vaccinated. An initial survey by the PGH, however, showed that 25 percent of employees had doubts about the vaccination.


Pharmacy personnel wearing personal protective equipment met the shipment at the Lung Center.

At the hospital’s vaccination area, each vaccination must not take more than three minutes. The patients will then be observed for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

A mini emergency room has also been prepared in case of severe side effects.

“We estimated up to the vaccination is just 30 minutes. Then after that ‘yung 45 minutes na monitoring. ‘Yun lang. That’s as fast as the processing,” Dr. Vincent Balanag Jr.

A total of 1,250 medical personnel will receive the vaccine.

Due to this, the Philippine Lung Center will receive 2,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Personnel working at COVID treatment areas, intensive Care Unit, and emergency room and services will be prioritized.

“I’m very satisfied. So quick and so efficient, what they have done,” DOH-NCR Director Dr. Corazon Flores said.

“Actually, we’re conducting simulation to ensure that we would be able to somehow perfect the system, the process, so that any glitches, any problem that we might encounter, we have to correct or respond to it to ensure the potency of our vaccine,” she added. -Joahna Lei Casilao/NB, GMA News