Sat. Jan 29th, 2022

The Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 said on Sunday they are continuously ensuring enough supplies of syringes – both 0.3ml syringes (microsyringes) that are compatible for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and 0.5ml auto-disable (AD) syringes for all other brands.

(Photo Courtesy: Manila Bulletin)

The two agencies said two batches of procurement through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have been undertaken, with the first batch of 8 million 0.3ml syringes worth P29.1 million completed in October and paid for by 2020 savings.

The second batch, financed through the Asian Development Bank, consisted of 44 million syringes amounting to about P152.6 million – 4 million this month and the balance during the first quarter of 2022 due to global supply shortage.

To date, 3.653 million syringes out of the 4 million have been delivered and the rest expected this week.

The 0.3 syringes of the two batches cost around P3.25 per piece , 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, local government units, and the private sector are working hard to increase our vaccine coverage to protect more Filipinos against Covid-19. Through our bayanihan (cooperation), we achieved 2.82 million jabs in one day,” Secretary Vince Dizon, Presidential Adviser on Covid-19 Response, said in a news release.

The DOH likewise procured 100 million pieces of 0.5ml AD syringes in April for P2.38 per piece, from an initial approved budget of P2.50 per piece.

Thus, P2.38 per piece was used as basis for the ongoing emergency procurement of another batch of 50 million pieces of 0.5ml AD syringes.

“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 Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Act,” lawyer Charade Mercado-Grande, Undersecretary of the Health Regulation Team, said.

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