Pfizer vaccines in danger of going to waste due to storage woes in Alabang mall

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 15)— An unknown number of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines may be discarded after the storage facility in a major vaccination site in Alabang, Muntinlupa encountered issues, local government officials said on Thursday.

Muntinlupa City said the vaccines stored in the Festival Mall facility will not be used anymore to ensure safety and efficacy. Local officials are still verifying how many Pfizer doses may have to be thrown out.

"Ayon sa inisyal na pagsusuri, nagkaroon ng pagbabago sa temperature na maaaring makaapekto sa kalidad ng bakuna. Prayoridad natin ang kapakanan ng bawat isa kaya't nagdesisyon pong huwag nang gamitin ang mga bakunang ito. Mas mabuti na pong sigurado tayo dahil kaligtasan ng mga babakunahan ang nakasalalay dito," the statement said.

[Translation: Based on our initial investigation, there was a change in the temperature, which may affect the quality of the vaccines. We decided not to use the vaccines. It's better to be safe.]

The Department of Health, however, said the affected Pfizer doses will likely be validated by experts to determine their efficacy.

The vaccination activities in Festival Mall will be temporarily suspended while they are fixing the storage facility.

In a statement, the mall management vowed continued support for the Muntinlupa LGU's inoculation drive.

"We would like to express our unwavering support to the city as the LGU addresses some unexpected logistical challenges," the management said, adding it looks forward to the resumption of vaccination activities soon.

Vaccines should be stored at a specific temperature identified by the manufacturer to guarantee their quality.