DOH assures public it has enough syringes for COVID-19 vaccine program
The Department of Health (DOH) Sunday assured the supply of syringes for the national coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program is enough.
The DOH made the statement after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr claimed that the Philippines ''dropped the ball'' as officials refused the offer of the United States to sell 50 million syringes.
In a statement, the DOH said there are enough supplies of syringes, both the 0.3ml syringes (microsyringes) that are compatible for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the 0.5ml auto-disable (AD) syringes for other brands.
"We assure the public that the DOH is continuously ensuring a sufficient stockpile of syringes," said Health Undersecretary Charade Mercado-Grande.
"We are continuously ensuring enough supplies of syringes for our COVID-19 vaccination program," she added.
The DOH said two batches of procurement for the 0.3ml syringes, through UNICEF, were done.
The first batch, funded through the savings from 2020 UNICEF procurement, included 8 million 0.3ml syringes worth P29.1 million, and were delivered in October 2021.
The second batch, which was financed through the Asian Development Bank, consisted of 44 million 0.3ml syringes amounting to about P152.6 million, with the 4 million to be delivered this month with the remaining 40 million during the first quarter of 2022.
The DOH said it has procured 100 million pieces of 0.5ml AD syringes last April for P2.38 per piece, from an initial approved budget of P2.50 per piece.
The DOH said there is ongoing emergency procurement of another batch of 50 million pieces of the 0.5ml AD syringes. DMS