Congress urged to pass Indemnification Bill for COVID-19 vaccination

Marje Pelayo   •   January 18, 2021   •   221

MANILA, Philippines — Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government is pushing for legislation to compensate those who would suffer adverse effects from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.

An indemnification bill, Galvez said, will provide assurance should there be serious results following inoculation or other vaccine-related injuries.

“Napakahalaga nito. Iyong COVAX required na meron tayong indemnification law. Alalahanin natin na merong tayong 40 million na doses na nakasalalay dito,” Galvez noted.

“Mas maganda sana na (isinusulong) namin na magkaroon ng Bayanihan 3 na isama na rin yung indemnification clause,” he added.

The proposal is also supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Sa ibang bansa katulad ng Estados Unidos o kaya sa United Kingdom talagang naka batas iyon. Kapag tayo ay nagbakuna, knowing that we are doing it for the good of the whole population and that’s always possible that somebody might get a very unusual severe reaction to it,” explained FDA Director General Eric Domingo.

“Kapag nagkaroon ng vaccination injury meron talagang sa batas nila na indemnification o compensation para doon sa nabakunahan,” he added.

Galvez said the government assures the public that they are doing their best to secure sufficient supply of vaccines to reach its 70 percent target population.

“Kaya ang ginawa natin sinecure natin ang 148 million (doses) na volume which is good for second quarter and third quarter,” he said,

“But now ang ginawa natin because of our good negotiation with India and also China, nag-front load ang China ng more or less 5 million sa 1st quarter and another 5 million to 8 million sa second quarter,” the official added.

Galvez said that the vaccination program will possibly roll out next month giving prioritization to highly urbanized cities where COVID-19 cases are high. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Health chief Duque won’t be inoculated with Sinovac COVID-19 jab – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III will not be receiving the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

“FTD (Francisco T Duque III) will not be vaccinated with SINOVAC as EUA provisions exclude 60 and above,” the DOH said in a message to reporters.

“He also underscores that we will follow the prioritization framework, and will ensure that limited doses will go to the HCWs first,” it added.

Duque, 64, earlier said he is willing to receive Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine but the age bracket recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might become an issue.

The FDA said the Sinovac jabs are only recommended to be administered to people aged 18 to 59 years old as it showed a higher efficacy rate in the said group based on clinical trials conducted in Indonesia and Turkey.

Duque led the rollout of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive for healthcare workers and other frontliners on Monday after the donated 600,000 Sinovac vaccines from China arrived in the country on Sunday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Five report feeling unwell after getting Sinovac jab; doctor says mild side effects ‘normal’

Robie de Guzman   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Five people were reported feeling unwell after being administered with Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) on the first day of the vaccination program rollout.

In Correspondent Dante Amento’s report on UNTV’s Ito Ang Balita, five people were sent to the emergency room for monitoring and observation.

One of them was a male staff of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office who experienced a dizzy spell a few minutes after receiving the vaccine.

A female vaccinee experienced rashes, while two others reported having a high blood pressure and palpitations.

Of the cases, two have been discharged.

According to VMMC director, Dr. Dominador Chiong, the reported symptoms can be considered mild side effects if these are proven to have been caused by the COVID-19 vaccine.

They are also not discounting the possibility that the symptoms may have also been caused by other factors such as anxiety about the vaccination and fatigue, as well as the heat.

“Pwedeng mangyari po yun talaga just like in any other medication,” Chiong said.

The Philippine government on Monday formally rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program to several hospitals in Metro Manila after receiving the donated vaccine doses from China on Sunday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Defense Sec. Lorenzana says he won’t receive Sinovac COVID-19 jabs

Robie de Guzman   •   March 1, 2021

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said he will not be administered with CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine made by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech, as the Philippines rolls out its vaccination drive on Monday.

In a post on Twitter, Lorenzana said he volunteered to be among the first to receive the vaccine in the Department of National Defense (DND) “to lead by example to not cast doubt against Sinovac,” and to “hopefully bring confidence” among its personnel.

However, he was advised that he was not qualified to take the vaccine based on Sinovac’s age limit, which is 18 to 59.

Lorenzana is 72 years old.

The DND started Monday the inoculation of its personnel against COVID-19. Lorenzana and other officials witnessed the vaccination rollout at Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City.

The Defense chief said the DND has been allocated with 100,000 vaccine doses – 29,040 of these jabs are allotted for health workers of the VMMC and V. Luna Medical Center, military and civilian staff of the DND-Proper. The remaining doses will be given to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government arrived in the country on Sunday. The vaccines were welcomed by President Rodrigo Duterte and other Cabinet officials at the Villamore Airbase in Pasay City. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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