(PNA photo by Oliver Marquez)

MANILA – The emergency use authorization (EUA) for the bivalent vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) from the COVAX Facility has been released.

“Lumabas na po ang EUA nitong mga ido-donate na bivalent vaccines (The EUA is out for the donated bivalent vaccines) which are Pfizer coming from COVAX,” Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media forum on Tuesday.

The COVAX Facility is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

The 1,002,000 doses of bivalent jabs are expected to arrive in three to four weeks.

Based on the agreement with the facility and the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council, the vulnerable population -- A1 (healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (individuals with comorbidities) -- would be the priority for the donated vaccines.

The bivalent vaccines can be received by individuals belonging to the priority sectors at least four months after their most recent vaccination.

Vergeire disclosed that the operational guidelines have been finalized.

“Kailangan na lamang po mapirmahan ng mga execom members natin (It has to be signed by our execom members) for this resolution for us to be able to issue out this department memorandum on the operational guidelines so our local governments can prepare already,” she said.

As for the proper and safe disposal of wasted monovalent vaccines, Vergeire noted the DOH is automatically in touch with third-party logistics in charge to do so whenever jabs are procured.

“Hindi pa po natin masyado dini-dispose itong mga bakuna sa ating mga warehouses because some of these vaccines are naka-quarantine. Inaantay po natin ‘yung decision ng (Some of the vaccines in our warehouses are still quarantined so we’re not disposing the jabs yet. We’re waiting for the decision of) FDA [Food and Drug Administration] through the submission of our manufacturers if we can still extend the shelf lives of these vaccines,” she said. (PNA)