The Well being Know-how Evaluation Council (HTAC), which advises the Division of Well being (DOH) relating to COVID-19 vaccines, ought to share the blame for the 31 million vaccine doses that expired, Iloilo Consultant Janet Garin stated Thursday.
“Isa sa masalimuot na katotohanan sa Pilipinas ay ang bawat desisyon ng DOH ay dadaan muna sa HTAC na sa ilang pagkakataon ay nararapat, subalit could ilang sitwasyon na masyadong matagal ang rekomendasyon na bandang huli ay nawawalan na ng bisa gaya na lang sa nangyari sa COVID vaccine,” stated Garin in a press release.
(It is a painful fact that each DOH resolution should undergo HTAC, and there are conditions when such is acceptable. Nonetheless, there are additionally conditions whereby the advice has lengthy been delayed that it received’t have weight anymore, identical to what occurred to COVID-19 vaccines.)
A former DOH secretary, Garin stated HTAC’s mandate is to supply suggestions to the DOH in a swift method — one thing, she stated, the council didn’t do.
In response to Garin, whereas different international locations had been already administering COVID-19 booster pictures, HTAC has but to resolve on when to present booster pictures and nonetheless ready on the results of their medical trials.
“It’s actually disheartening that such an quantity of COVID-19 vaccines expired, though we noticed it coming as a result of as early as June and July final 12 months, we had been already saying that the primary booster ought to already be administered,” Garin, additionally a medical physician, identified.
“They nonetheless waited it out and solely licensed it by December, when lots of people had been already contaminated and lots of people already died. Additionally, they solely allowed a second booster when the COVID-19 vaccines had been already about to run out.”
Garin additionally referred to as out HTAC for its supposed flexibility which affected the non-public sector buy of the COVID-19 vaccines since they can’t administer the booster shot to their workers with out clearance from the DOH, which in flip wants suggestions from HTAC.
“We now have been doing issues by the ebook an excessive amount of, empowering HTAC a lot that DOH selections should rely on the council which doesn’t have accountability. Consequently, our assets had been wasted,” Garin stated.
Garin stated that the Common Healthcare Legislation should be amended to scale back the authority of the HTAC to conduct well being tech evaluation or setting the value vary for presidency purchases alone reasonably than being concerned in this system implementation.
GMA Information On-line has reached out to the DOH for remark and can publish its reply as quickly as it’s out there.
The DOH earlier stated the 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines — which had been 12.5% of the full vaccines acquired by the Philippine authorities — that had been probably go to waste was nonetheless inside the “acceptable stage” of wastage primarily based on the requirements of the World Well being Group (WHO).
The DOH stated different international locations expertise 25% to 30% vaccine wastage because of a number of components. —Llanesca T. Panti/KBK, GMA Built-in Information