348 Sinovac jabs expire in Cotabato after workers forgot to turn freezer on

·1 min read

What a waste!

At least 348 vials of CoronaVac, the China-made vaccine from Sinovac, have expired in Makilala, Cotabato after they were stored in a freezer that was not turned on over the weekend.

That’s 348 lives we could have saved, people!

A blackout hit the town for about two hours on Friday afternoon, Dr. Eva Rabaya, Cotabato’s health chief told The Philippine Daily Inquirer, prompting health workers to transfer the vials of CoronaVac to a freezer in Makilala’s police station. Health officials thought things were fine and dandy because the police station had a generator, but it was only later when they learned that the generator was turned off during the entire weekend, and the refrigerator was not even plugged into an electrical socket.

Read: Time’s Running Out: Metro Manila to ramp up vaccination due to looming AstraZeneca expiration

Son of a gun.

The vaccines were supposed to have been used by several elderly patients, but the drugs were already declared damaged.

“Nobody noticed that the freezer was not switched on,” said Lito Cañedo, a government spokesperson said. “Saturday and Sunday were no-work days. It was only in the morning of Monday, May 10, that health personnel discovered [that the freezer was not on].”

The Philippines is aiming to vaccinate 70 million people this year to reach herd immunity, but with government employees not working on weekends, the country had fully vaccinated just 518,000 people as of yesterday. There are 55,260 active cases of COVID in the country, while 18,821 have died from the disease.

This article, 348 Sinovac jabs expire in Cotabato after workers forgot to turn freezer on, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.