Taguig suspends Sinovac jabs due to lack of documents

The Taguig city government halted on Monday, June 28, administering Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses to residents and workers in the city until further notice.

Taguig's vaccination task force all but pinned the blame on the Department of Health (DOH), saying that a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for the latest shipment of Sinovac vaccines that arrived to the Philippines on June 24 has yet to be released.

A COA is among the documents required by the Food and Drug Administration, which also monitors the importation of vaccines by batches/lot numbers in compliance with Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA).

"I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We will continue vaccination at the soonest possible time," Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano said.

In a separate statement, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire clarified that the COA "usually comes after the vaccine supplies are delivered."

"For the June 24 deliveries of Sinovac, we have COA scheduled to be issued by the manufacturers from [Monday] until the 30th of June, based on the batch and lot numbers of the vaccines," Vergeire said.

The Philippines received a total of two million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China's Sinovac Biotech on June 24.

Vergeire guaranteed that Taguig would resume Sinovac vaccinations as soon as the COA for the specific vaccine stockpile has been issued.

Cayetano also assured those who are scheduled to receive their second Sinovac dose that they would be prioritized once vaccinations resume. — with reports from Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler.com