As expiry date nears, AstraZeneca vax can’t be used outside A1-A3

AstraZeneca vaccine (Photo courtesy of PNP-PIO)

MANILA – The fresh batch of delivered AstraZeneca vaccine, about 2 million doses set to expire in June, would be administered only to priority groups A1 to A3, a health official said Wednesday.

“Hindi po natin ibigay sa A4 ang (We cannot give to A4 the) AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the COVAX Facility because it is not allotted for A4, that is for A1, A2 and A3,” Health Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations Center chairperson Myrna Cabotaje said during a televised public briefing.

In the ongoing vaccination rollout, most of those currently allowed to get the shots are under the A1 category (medical front-liners); A2 (senior citizens); and A3 (persons with comorbidities).

Under the A4 are frontline personnel working in essential sectors and the uniformed personnel.

In an interview over ANC, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said 1.5 million doses of the latest shipment of AstraZeneca through the COVAX Facility would be used as the first dose and 500,000 doses for the second dose of those who received the jab in March and April.

On Tuesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 1.5 million doses of the vaccines will expire in June and the remaining 500,000 doses will expire in July.

Vergeire assured the public that the vaccine doses will not go to waste as the vaccine cluster has developed a mechanism to consume the jabs appropriately.

“Titingnan na lang kung ano pa ang darating by the end of the month, baka pwede na ‘yung Sinovac at Gamaleya kapag darating na pang A4, saka darating na ‘yung sa private sector so baka pwede na mag-simultaneous (We’ll check on the vaccines coming by the end of the month, the Sinovac and Gamaleya vaccines may be used for A4, the vaccines for the private sector are also coming so there could be simultaneous vaccination),” Cabotaje said. (PNA)

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