Local officials were ordered by the Department of Interior and Local Government to submit a report on how they will be transporting COVID-19 vaccines to their areas to avoid wastage.
The DILG issued Memorandum Circular No. 2021-052 only one day after the agency was chosen by President Rodrigo Duterte to ensure the optimal transportation and proper storage of temperature-sensitive coronavirus jabs. It directs local government units to firm up their workflow to ensure effective cold chain management, including temperature maintenance for transport, storage, and administration of the vaccine doses.
“The MC also directs LGUs to report on the transport mechanism for the vaccines to monitor if said modes of transportation are compliant with the requisite safe-handling of the vaccines to avoid spoilage or wastage,” the DILG said in a statement.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. claimed that vaccine wastage in the Philippines is “very minimal,” following an incident in Cotabato, where over 300 doses of the Sinovac vaccine were spoiled after being left in an unplugged freezer for more than two days.
According to the DILG, it will work to distribute vaccines to more provinces. It will also monitor the performance of each LGU and will call the attention of those who are lagging behind.