MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 have ensured that there are enough supplies of syringes – both 0.3ml syringes (microsyringes) that are compatible with Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, and 0.5ml auto-disable (AD) syringes for all other vaccines.
In a statement, the DOH and the NTF on Sunday (December 12) said that the syringes were procured in two batches through UNICEF.
The first batch was composed of 8 million 0.3ml syringes worth Php29.1 million which were completely delivered last October 2021. Funding for this came from the savings from CY 2020 UNICEF procurement.
The second batch, consisting of 44 million syringes amounting to about Php152.6 million, was financed through the Asian Development Bank.
“Of this second batch, 4 million will be delivered in December 2021 and remaining 40 million during the first quarter of 2022 due to global supply shortage,” the statement further said.
The country has, so far, received 3,653,000 of the said 4 million syringes. The rest, the statement said, is expected to arrive this coming week.
The two batches of the said 0.3 syringes totaling 52 million pieces cost around Php3.25 per piece or USD 6.5 cents (Php50 = USD 1), including the cost for logistics.
“Even with the delays in delivery of microsyringes, we made sure that we can still administer the Pfizer vaccines that we procured by using tuberculin syringes. The government together with LGUs and the private sector is working hard to increase our vaccine coverage to protect more Filipinos against COVID-19. Through our Bayanihan, we achieved 2.82 million jabs in one day,” said Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon, Presidential Adviser on COVID-19 Response.
The DOH added that it has also purchased 100 million pieces of 0.5ml AD syringes last April 2021 for Php2.38 per piece, from an initial approved budget of Php2.50 per piece.
“We are continuously ensuring enough supplies of syringes for our COVID-19 vaccination program – noting that 0.3ml syringes are different from 0.5ml syringes, and as such would have varying prices. We assure the public that the DOH is continuously ensuring a sufficient stockpile of syringes and that processes to obtain these are consistent with the provisions of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Act,” said Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande, Undersecretary of the Health Regulation Team. —/mbmf