SOME 1,492 vials or 14,920 doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines will be returned by the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental to the Department of Health (DOH).

Dr. Claudelia Pabillo, who is in charge of the provincial storage facility, said the expired vaccines are part of the 4,530 vials or 45,300 doses received by the province last November 8.

Pabillo said the rest of the vaccines received on that day have already been utilized.

She said the city and the municipal health offices were hesitant to accept the vaccines after they learned that their expiration was nearing, adding that the expired vaccines are still at a cold storage facility.

For his part, Provincial Administrator lawyer Rayfrando Diaz II said they value the vaccines and that they wanted to use them.

However, they value the vaccinees’ welfare more, he added.

The provincial administrator said the potency of the vaccine decreases as the period of expiration nears. This meant that they could not roll it out anymore, he added.