CEBU CITY – The Cebu City Health Department (CCHD) on Wednesday said no single dose of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine was spoiled during the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.
Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, CCHD head, said before the typhoon's landfall, they prepared generator sets as part of the preemptive measures in case the cold chain for the vaccines would bog down during the typhoon.
“Thanks God, we have no spoilage. We have prepared generator (sets). I personally inspected our cold chain at the Cebu City Health Department earlier in the day of the typhoon to ensure that no single dose would go to waste,” Ibones told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.
The city health officer also said in an earlier presser that despite the number of days that the city experienced challenges brought by the typhoon, they have not recorded any brands of vaccine that have expired.
On Tuesday, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Covid-19 vaccine wastage due to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette remains “negligible”.
He said the vaccine wastage may increase as they are still waiting for additional data from Tandag City in Surigao del Sur.
Meanwhile, Ibones said they saw an increase in the number of people who showed up at the vaccination sites, although most of them are for the second dose.
“The people are busy with some other concerns after the typhoon like food and water. So those who seek for the second dose showed up than those who still have to receive their first jab,” he said.
Ibones admitted they need to stop inoculation activities on December 16, the day that Typhoon Odette struck the city and the neighboring localities in Cebu province but the vaccination resume on December 21.
He said many vaccinators reported their houses were destroyed by the typhoon, causing them to halt reporting to inoculation sites after the calamity.
The scheduled second “Bayaniyan, Bakunahan”, a nationwide vaccination drive ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to be done on December 15 to 23 was also halted due to the typhoon.
“After Typhoon Odette, we were able to vaccinate almost 30,000 individuals. Slowly, the people will come for their jabs perhaps after resolving issues regarding the typhoon,” he added.
With the goal to achieve the desired population protection soon, Ibones said more vaccination sites will be opened and those that became non-operational a few days after the typhoon were opened on Tuesday. (PNA)