MANILA, Philippines — The National Vaccinations Operations Center (NVOC) on Monday assured that no COVID-19 vaccines were affected in the onslaught of two storms, Jolina and Kiko, that barrelled through the country last week.
In a televised briefing, NVOC representative Dr. Kezia Rosario said the COVID-19 vaccine shots were transported temporarily to provincial health offices for safekeeping in areas affected by the storms.
Rosario also said that even cold chain storage facilities housing the vaccines were safe.
“Lahat ng bakuna natin during the time of the bagyo were safe po at na-store po siya properly at hindi po tayo nagkaroon ng excursion sa temperature nito. So they are still effective and puwede pa po siyang ibigay sa mga vaccinees natin,” she said.
During the onslaught of Jolina, at least 19 municipalities in the Bicol region suspended vaccination operations while 49 areas in the Eastern Visayas region stopped the inoculation process.
At least three towns in Cagayan Valley also halted their vaccine rollouts due to Typhoon Kiko.
Rosario, however, said that the vaccination operations in the said areas have since resumed when the skies cleared.
The NVOC has yet to get an update on the vaccination rollout in Batanes that was battered by Kiko over the weekend.
“We do not have any updates pa po kung ilan iyong municipalities ng Batanes. But as of now, we know that all of the vaccines were transported doon sa provincial health offices for storage for the time being. And iyong sa Itbayat na vaccines, it was also transported sa district hospital nila for the time being,” she said.
The NVOC official assured that they have prepared response plans during calamities to ensure the safety of the vaccine supply.
“We also have rolled out ‘no and enforced iyong pag-establish ng mga vaccine security teams not only in the National Vaccine Operations Center kung hindi po sa Regional Vaccine Operations Center natin at saka sa Local Vaccine Operations Center,” she said.
“Sila po ay mag-i-ensure that bago pa man dumating ang bagyo nakahanda na po lahat ng preparations para maprotektahan natin iyong cold chain at saka ma-maintain natin iyong temperature ng mga vaccines natin. Kung kailangan sila i-transport immediately, gagawin po iyon,” she added.
Generators are also on standby in case of power interruptions that may affect cold storage facilities.
“And also, na-orient na po iyong mga vaccination teams natin that once the bagyo ay matapos na po ay ma-ensure nila that they can resume the vaccination activities immediately at saka mabigay nila iyong mga bakuna immediately,” Rosario said.