DOH, NTF CONTINUOUSLY ENSURES ENOUGH SUPPLY OF SYRINGES; NO MODERNA VACCINES REFUSED ACCEPTANCE

Joint Press Release | 12 December 2021

The Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 on Sunday said that it is continuously ensuring enough supplies of syringes - both 0.3ml syringes (microsyringes) that are compatible for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, and 0.5ml auto-disable (AD) syringes for all other vaccines.

The DOH and NTF clarified that two batches of procurement through UNICEF were undertaken. The first batch, funded through the savings from CY 2020 UNICEF procurement, included 8 million 0.3ml syringes worth PhP 29.1 million which were completely delivered last October 2021. The second batch, financed through the Asian Development Bank, consisted of 44 million syringes amounting to about PhP 152.6 million. Of this second batch, 4 million will be delivered in December 2021 and remaining 40 million during the first quarter of 2022 due to global supply shortage. As of today, 3,653,000 syringes out of the 4 million have already been delivered and the rest is expected this coming week. The first and second  batches of procurement through UNICEF totals to 52 million of 0.3 syringes at around PhP 3.25 per piece or USD 6.5 cents (Php 50 = USD 1) which includes cost for logistics.

“Even with the delays in delivery of microsyringes, we made sure that we can still administer the Pfizer vaccines that we procured by using tuberculin syringes. The government together with LGUs and the private sector is working hard to increase our vaccine coverage to protect more Filipinos against COVID-19. Through our bayanihan, we achieved 2.82 million jabs in one day,” said Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon, Presidential Adviser on COVID-19 Response.

Further to this, the DOH also procured 100 million pieces of 0.5ml AD syringes last April 2021 for PhP 2.38 per piece, from an initial approved budget of PhP 2.50 per piece. Thus, PhP 2.38 per piece or USD 4.8 cents (PhP 50 = USD 1) was used as a basis for the ongoing emergency procurement of another batch of 50 million pieces of 0.5ml AD syringes.

“We are continuously ensuring enough supplies of syringes for our COVID-19 vaccination program - noting that 0.3ml syringes are different from 0.5ml syringes, and as such would have varying prices. We assure the public that the DOH is continuously ensuring a sufficient stockpile of syringes and that processes to obtain these are consistent with the provisions of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Act,” said Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande, Undersecretary of the Health Regulation Team.

The NTF also stated that no Moderna vaccines have been refused by the Philippine government.  In fact, the Philippines received 3,000,060 Moderna vaccines from the US through the COVAX facility last August 3, 2021. No other Moderna vaccine offer has been received by the Vaccine Cluster.

“For the record, we have not rejected any Moderna vaccines that were offered to the Philippine government. These vaccines are essential in achieving our goal of providing additional protection to Filipinos against COVID-19. And it is towards saving more lives and defeating the pandemic that the whole of government and the entire nation should work together. I also enjoin everyone to participate in the National Vaccination Days on December 15-17 by volunteering, promoting, or getting vaccinated during the event. Let us live out the Bayanihan spirit upang masigurado nating LIGTAS ang lahat at maipakita ang LAKAS ng buong Pilipinas,” said NTF Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr.  

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