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Philippines lost 44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to wastage —DOH

Forty-four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been wasted due to expiration and operational wastage, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said 24 million doses have gone beyond their shelf life while 3.6 million doses have been affected by “operational wastage” caused by natural disasters, temperature excursion, and discoloration.

She said the DOH was still determining the circumstances behind the five percent of the wasted 44 million doses.

"This 44 million is 17.5% out of all those vaccines we have received for the country,” Vergeire said.

Vergeire said that almost 75% of the vaccine wastage came from the procurement of private sector and local government units.

She said at least four to five percent came from donations, and two percent from the national government procurement.

Senator Pia Cayetano earlier said that up to 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country went to waste during the plenary deliberation of the DOH budget.

The estimated cost of the 31.3 million wasted doses is P15.6 billion, Cayetano, sponsor of the DOH budget, said.

She said that the DOH has not been privy to the cost of the vaccines as they are not a party to the non-disclosure agreement signed by the Philippine government and the vaccine manufacturers. —NB, GMA Integrated News