Veterans’ hospital runs out of COVID-19 vaccine amid excess supply

December 31, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 395 views

ANAKALUSUGAN Rep. Mike Defensor on Friday urged Health Sec. Francisco Duque lll and national vaccination czar Carlito Galvez to provide enough coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines to vaccination centers in Quezon City and other parts of the country.

Defensor made the appeal after receiving complaints from many of his Quezon City constituents that the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), where they have pre-registered last week to get their booster shots, turned them away yesterday (Wednesday) because the hospital has ran out of vaccine supply.

“Hundreds, perhaps thousands, who waited for at least a week for their turn to receive their booster showed up at VMMC on North Avenue, but had to go home frustrated because there was no vaccine,” he said.

He said based on the report of the national vaccination task force, more than 209 million doses of different Covid-19 jabs have arrived in the country.

He said of that number, 107.3 million doses have been administered, while 48.6 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated or have received their first and second shots.

“That means that we should have a comfortable extra supply. So where is it? Why did VMMC run out of vaccine and whose fault was it? Are concerned national officials to blame or was it the fault of responsible hospital officers?” Defensor asked.

“We thank VMMC and its personnel for undertaking booster vaccination for residents of Quezon City and neighboring areas. I am appealing to them to resume it. In fact, other government hospitals in the city should join VMMC. But the Department of Health and the national vaccination task force should supply them with enough vaccine,” he said.

At the same time, he commended the thousands who have been trooping to VMMC since last week in their desire to get vaccinated.

“The hospital has been turning away hundreds of walk-ins due to lack of vaccine and personnel, accommodating only those pre-registered. But on Wednesday, there was no vaccine even for those who registered last week for their booster shots,” Defensor said.

He said those who were sent home did not know if they could still get their additional dose at VMMC.

“The hospital could have told them if vaccination would resume and when. It could have given priority numbers to those who showed up yesterday,” he said.

He pointed out that since VMMC required pre-registration, it could have counted the number of shots it needed for its booster registrants, plus some extra doses in case of wastage.

“I hope they come up with a better system next time, from pre-registration to queuing up and screening at the vaccination center up to injection and post-injection monitoring,” he added.

Defensor stressed that he is also praying that those who failed to receive their booster shots would remain safe from the virus.