DOH calls on Traslacion attendees to isolate, avoid public places

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2021   •   759

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has urged Catholic devotees who flocked to Quiapo Church on January 9 to undergo self-isolation, and to avoid public places to prevent the possible spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The DOH said Traslacion attendees should self-quarantine and monitor themselves for any symptoms of the viral respiratory disease following concerns that the mass gathering could become a potential super-spreader event.

“The DOH further advises those who attended the Traslacion to minimize interactions, especially with the vulnerable members of their household, and to conduct active self-monitoring for any symptoms,” the department said in a statement.

It also reiterated its reminder for anyone who experiences symptoms of COVID-19, especially devotees who physically went to Quiapo, to immediately coordinate with their respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams for appropriate management and referral.

The health department also called on local government units to actively monitor their constituents who participated in the event for early detection of possible COVID-19 cases and limit transmission.

The department made the call after some 400,000 people attended the religious event in Quiapo Church and nearby areas despite the threat of the COVID-19.

As seen in photos, some of the attendees were not even properly wearing face shields, and social distancing protocols were not strictly followed in some activities.

According to Dr. Tony Leachon, former special adviser for the National Task Force against COVID-19 and the former president of the Philippine College of Physicians, the religious event should not have been held as this clearly violates the protocols on mass gathering and social distancing measures amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Events that become a potential super-spreader event is different from a usual gathering as this could result in high number of COVID-19 cases. It is also difficult to discount the possibility that someone infected with the virus may have joined the event and infected many.

The organizers of the feast earlier discouraged devotees from attending Saturday’s event as they could join the activities online. They also cancelled the annual procession, popularly known as Traslacion due to the continuing COVID-19 threat. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

PRC allows deployment of dentists as vaccinators

Maris Federez   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has greenlit the deployment of dentists as vaccinators to ensure the faster rollout of government efforts against COVID-19.

This was announced by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Ben Hur Abalos during President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the Nation public address aired Monday night.

However, Abalos said this needs an emergency order from the Department of Health (DOH).

“Sumulat na po ang Professional Regulatory Commission, papayagan na daw po nila ang mga dentista na maging vaccinators kung mayroon daw emergency order na galing sa DOH. Yan ang kailangan. ‘Di na kailangan i-amend ang batas at napakaraming manpower na maibibigay po ito,” Abalos said.

The MMDA chief added that Metro Manila mayors have expressed willingness to help the vaccination drive in the provinces, especially now that the NCR has already reached the desirable number of COVID-19 vaccinees.

“Tutulong po kami sa sinasabi ni po Sec. Vince [Dizon], Sec. Charlie [Galvez], at Sec. [Eduardo] Año ang mga Metro Manila mayors sa pagbabakuna po sa mga kapitbahay po naming,” Abalos said. —/mbmf

9,928 children with health risks vaccinated vs COVID-19 – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The number of minors with co-morbidities who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 has reached 9,928, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday.

In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that ten among the minors experienced reactions to the vaccines.

“Tatlong mga bata ay nagkaroon ng allergic reactions but were all managed. Tatlo po ay nagkaroon ng anxiety-related reactions, at ‘yung apat po mga minor lang po, masakit po mga vaccination site,” she said.

“So far, wala pa po tayong serious at adverse reactions that were noted. But of course, we are still monitoring these children,” she added.

Vergeire assured that children who were inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine will be continuously monitored.

“Katulad ng sabi natin, hindi lang natatapos ang monitoring namin pagkatapos lang ng bakunahan. We will monitor them this whole month para makita natin if there will still be other reactions na mangyayari,” she said.

The COVID-19 vaccination for the pediatric population was launched on Oct. 15 in eight hospitals in Metro Manila.

It was then expanded to 13 more hospitals and facilities when the DOH rolled out the program’s second phase on Oct. 22.

Vergeire said they consider the vaccination program a success and assured that the process has been orderly.

Should the two phases of the pediatric vaccination be successful, the campaign will be expanded to other regions.

“So ‘yan po ay pinagplaplanuhan, pinag-uusapan na at magbibigay tayo ng information in the coming days,” Vergeire said.

The following medical conditions would make children aged 12 to 17 years old eligible for vaccination against COVID-19:

  • Medical complexity
  • Genetic conditions
  • Neurologic conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic/endocrine
  • Obesity
  • HIV infection
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Renal disorder
  • Hepatobillary

Vergeire earlier said that children participating in the pilot COVID-19 vaccination program should be well-informed and must get clearance from their physicians.

PH may give third COVID-19 vaccine shot, boosters to health workers, elderly– DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021


MANILA, Philippines –
The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has green lighted the administration of booster and additional shots of COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with co-morbidities.

The DOH said that the move was upon the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) and was later approved by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The booster and third jab may be given within the year, and by 2022 for eligible priority groups, it added.

Based on the recommendation, the booster shots should be given within the fourth quarter of the year to health workers, the elderly, and persons with health risks who received the jabs at least six months after the primary series.

The HTAC also recommended that the boosters should be based on the vaccine brands received by the individuals in the primary series.

If they received Pfizer-BioNTech, then they should also be given the same as a booster shot.

For those who got AstraZeneca, they may be given the same or preferably Pfizer-made jab for their booster shot.

Those who completed the Moderna primary series should also be given Moderna or Pfizer dose, while those inoculated with Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot may get Prizer or CoronaVac booster shot.

The HATC also pushed for the implementation of boosters for other eligible population in 2022 only if the A1 to A5 priority groups reach 50 percent in the primary series.

For the implementation of additional shots, particularly for immunocompromised individuals, the HTAC recommended that the dose will be given at least 18 days after they completed the initial COVID-19 vaccine series.

The third shot is recommended to be the same as those received in the primary series.

Based on data from the DOH, the Philippines has so far administered a total of   55,506,176 vaccine doses — 29,891,810 of which were given as first dose while 25,614,366 individuals were fully vaccinated.

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