Over 20 million donated and purchased Covid-19 vaccine doses in the Philippines have expired, the Department of Health (DOH) said. 

As of August 12, 20,660,354 Covid-19 vaccines were wasted, Health Undersecretary Carol Tanio said during a Senate committee on health and demography hearing.

Among the said number, 6% of the donated Covid-19 jabs, 22% of the purchased vaccines by local governments, and 40% of the shots procured by private companies reached their expiration dates 

 However, DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that 134 million vaccines purchased by the national government did not have any wastage.

 Currently, the country’s Covid-19 vaccine wastage stands at 8.42%. The said number is below the standard rate of 10% set by the World Health Organization.

“At this rate, by October, we will exceed the threshold of the WHO for acceptable wastage. So we might have accumulated vaccines faster than we could administer them,” Sen. Risa Hontiveros said. 

 “Nakapanghihinayang na parang patapon ang paggasta ng bilyong piso para dito. It seems that our vaccine program is leaking billions of pesos,” she added. 

However, Vergeire noted that some vaccines became wastage due to expiration, contamination, or opened vaccines.

“There were also wastage due to natural disasters like Typhoon Odette (Rai), fire, earthquakes, also due to temperature controls like thawed vaccines but were not used and temperature excursions, and the presence of [particulate] matters or discoloration in vials of vaccines,” Vergeire said.


Ronald Espartinez