Muntinlupa PIO deletes social media advisory on COVID-19 vaccine storage facility woes

July 16, 2021 - 12:17 PM
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Residents undergo counseling before receiving their first dose of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Barangay Sucat Covered Court, in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Philippines, June 21, 2021. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David/File Photo)

A city in Metro Manila deleted its social media post about a vaccination site’s storage issue that led to discarded COVID-19 vaccines.

In the deleted post, the Muntinlupa City government announced on July 15 that it temporarily halted its vaccination program called MunCoVac at Festival Mall in Alabang due to a temperature change of its storage facility.

This was initially posted on MunCoVac’s Facebook page. However, it was later deleted.

An advocacy group named United Frontliners PH managed to make a copy of it and shared it on its account.

 

“Minabuti ng Pamahalaang Lungsod na isuspinde ang pagbabakuna sa Festival Mall vaccination site simula July 15 habang inaayos ang kanilang storage facility,” the advisory read.

“Ayon sa inisyal na pagsusuri, nagkaroon ng pagbabago sa temperatura na maaaring makaapekto sa kalidad ng bakuna,” it added.

Because of this, the city government decided not to use the affected doses for inoculation.

“Prayoridad natin ang kapakanan ng bawat isa kaya’t nagdesisyon pong huwag nang gamitin ang mga bakunang ito. Mas mabuti na pong sigurado tayo dahil kaligtasan ng mga babakunahan ang nakasalalay ditto,” it said.

The MunCoVac vaccination team had already coordinated with the national government to address this problem.

COVID-19 jabs not disclosed

The Muntinlupa City government did not disclose the vaccine brand being distributed and how many doses were affected.

In a separate post, however, MunCoVac cited Pfizer and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine brands in its apology to residents who were supposed to receive their second dose of these COVID-19 vaccine brands on that day. They also cited the lack of vaccine supply.

It was not announced whethere these were the COVID-19 jabs supposed to be administered in Festival Mall.

“Humihingi kami ng paumanhin sa pagkaantala ng pagbabakuna, lalo sa mga naka-schedule na ang kanilang 2nd dose,” the advisory read.

“Inaasahan natin ang pagdating ng karagdagang bakuna—kasama dito ang Pfizer at Sinovac—ngayong buwan ng Hulyo. Sa sandaling dumating ang supply, agad na magpapadala ng text message ang MunCoVac team para sa panibagong vaccination appointment,” it added.

In an updated post, MunCoVac announced that the vaccination program at the mall will proceed. However, this is for residents scheduled to receive their first dose.

“Magpapatuloy bukas, July 16, ang first dose vaccination sa Festival Mall hub. Ongoing ang pagpapadala ng appointment via text message para sa priority groups A1-A5 na rehistrado sa MunCoVac. Samantala, tuloy-tuloy din ang vaccination sa iba’t ibang site sa Muntinlupa,” it said.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are required to be stored in facilities at -80 to -60 degrees Celsius.

Sinovac’s CoronaVac, meanwhile, can be stored at fridge temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

Despite not knowing the brand, some Filipinos online were alarmed by the discarded COVID-19 jabs. They pointed out that other people could have received them.

“Grabe naman huwag niyo naman sayang ang vaccine maraming gusto mag pa vaccine,” one user said.

“Dapat kasuhan sa ombudsman ang city health officer ng Muntinlupa dahil sa kapalpakan nila, they should and must ensure the quality of storage facilities and handling of vaccines dedicated to properly attain the so called herd immunity goal of the City,” another user wrote.

Reports said the Department of Health is already checking the incident.