The Department of Health (DOH) said the government is investigating possible lapses in vaccine distribution in Zamboanga del Sur after at least 100,000 doses of Covid vaccines were destroyed in a fire in Pagadian City during the weekend. 

National Vaccination Operation Center chairperson Myrna Cabotaje said the matter is now being probed by the DOH and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). 

Aside from the cause of the fire, she said the investigation will also include, why there were so many remaining Covid-19 jabs at the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), which was damaged by a fire last Sunday, which destroyed vaccines for Covid-19, measles, hepatitis and polio.  The IPHO served as one of the distribution hubs for Covid-19 vaccines in Zamboanga del Sur. 

“Well, it is beyond us, because fire is a force of nature. But we will have to look into why there were so many vaccines which were not deployed,” Cabotaje said in a virtual interview with PTV last Tuesday.  

Under DILG rules, she said the vaccines should have been deployed to areas where it will be used three days after it was received by a concerned local government unit. 

Cabotaje said they are now trying to ensure Covid-19 jabs distribution in the Zamboanga del Sur will continue even after the fire in the IPHO.

She said the DOH office, which has jurisdiction in Zamboanga del Sur, is now drafting the plan, which will make use of its “buffer” Covid-19 vaccine stocks.





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