Pharmacists call on Lacson to bar use of expired AZ jabs

The Community Pharmacists Association of the Philippines – Negros Occidental Chapter (CPAP Negros) is calling on Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson to prevent the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines from the national government that expired on Nov. 30, 2021 for “the protection and safety of the Negrosanons and for the common good of the public”, its president John Paul Domasian said Friday, February 11.

CPAP Negros is calling on the provincial government and all local government units in Negros Occidental not to use the expired vaccines to protect lives, he said.

The Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office is just waiting for advice from the Department of Health on whether it can start using the expired AstraZeneca vaccines in its cold storage facility, Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, provincial health officer, said Thursday, February 10.

The 14,620 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were not used by the provincial government last year because they had Nov. 30, 2021 expiration dates.

However, Secretary Carlito Galvez, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer, during a visit to Bacolod City on February 4 said the shelf life of expired vaccines can be extended for another six months.

“The 14,620 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for COVID-19 are already expired. The law defined Expiry or Expiration date refers to the end date when the manufacturer can guarantee that a product possesses its claimed potency, efficacy, quality, and safety, after which its sales or distribution is prohibited,” Domasian said, citing Republic Act 10918 (Philippine Pharmacy Act of 2016) and R.A. 7493 (Consumers Act of the Philippines).

The AstraZeneca vaccines that expired on Nov. 30, 2021 do not conform anymore to the standard specifications for quality, safety, and efficacy of food, drugs, cosmetics, devices, chemicals, or hazardous substances or any pharmaceutical products, he said.

The COVID-19 vaccine is very harmful to the patients, particularly to the Negrosanon, because the AstraZeneca vaccines are under emergency use authorization, under clinical trials, and absolutely expired, he added.

Once the drugs, vaccines and any pharmaceutical products expire they have no extension at all, medically speaking, he said.

“We also don’t know the untoward effects, adverse effects, unwanted effects, and side effects of the vaccines that expired once administered to the patients. In general principle, no pharmacists in the world dispense expired drugs or any pharmaceutical products”, he added.*

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