DOST names 13 hospitals involved in WHO COVID-19 vaccine solidarity trials

Robie de Guzman   •   September 22, 2020   •   951

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Tuesday announced that 13 hospitals will be involved in the solidarity trials of the World Health Organization (WHO) for potential novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in the country.

In a statement, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) has adopted the agency’s recommendation for zoning on the solidarity trials for the vaccine candidates against COVID-19 which will be conducted this year.

Dela Peña said the vaccine candidates will be tested in eight trial zones, involving a total of 13 hospitals.

He identified these facilities as the Philippine General Hospital, Manila Doctors Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Makati Medical Center, The Medical City, and St. Luke’s Medical Center-BGC, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City, De La Salle Health Sciences Institute in Cavite, and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

The WHO solidarity trials will start this October and expected to be completed by the second quarter of the following year.

The DOST chief also confirmed that the Philippines is in agreement with five COVID- 19 vaccine developers that will enable clinical trial data sharing.

Duterte willing to give away his COVID-19 vaccination slot

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he will waive his allocation for the COVID-19 vaccination to someone else who “can live productively.”

“Ako mag-waive ako kasi 70 above na ako. Ano bang makuha mo? Sige ng dream. Dream what? Dream of living until kingdom come? Ako mag-waive ako. Kung sinong may gusto sa slot ko ibigay ko,” Duterte said in his pre-taped public address.

“Kung panahon ko na, either it’s COVID or a bala or whatever disgrasya, wala akong masyadong ano dyan sa illusions about life or death. If anyone wants to have it, they ca have it. We (senior citizens) are not in the priority anyway kasi above ano na. Ang unahin natin ‘yung mabubuhay pa,” he added.

Senior citizens are listed in the A2 priority group for vaccination while healthcare workers belong to the A1 group and persons with co-morbidities are under A3 group.

In February, Malacañang said Duterte is willing to be administered with COVID-19 vaccines to encourage Filipinos to take the vaccine.

Vaccine confidence among senior citizens increased after Sinovac jabs

Marje Pelayo   •   April 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Vaccination among senior citizens kicked off today (April 12) using China’s Sinovac vaccine CoronaVac.

In San Juan City, vaccine confidence among the elderly sector increased after they received COVID-19 jabs.

One of them, 69 years old Rodrigo Malig, was relieved to have passed the requirement and received the vaccine considering his lung condition.

“Hindi ako kinakabahan. Ang ikinakakaba ko nga baka hindi ako ngayon (maturukan ng) vaccine. Okay lang sa akin kahit anong mangyari wala namang problema iyon bastat importante sa akin magkaroon ako ng proteksyon sa sarili ko kasi mayroon na nga akong sakit,” he said.

His confidence in the vaccine increased especially that he did not have any severe conditions after the vaccination.

“Wala, parang inaantok. Okay lang to kasi syempre kagabi excited kaya hindi ako masyadong nakatulog kagabi,” he said.

“Huwag silang matakot, kailangan magpabakuna sila para proteksyon din sa katawan nila,” he added.

Aside from Rodrigo, Tess and Buddy Santos also received their COVID-19 jabs.

Tess said it is better to get vaccinated than be among the COVID-19 cases in the country.

She said it is inevitable for them to go out and interact with their house helpers who assist in their daily needs.

“Sabi ng asawa ko na 91 years old, sabi nya hindi na ako magpapabakuna kase matanda na ako. Sabi ko: “Magpabakuna ka because you will be a spreader.” Protection sa amin and sa tao na mai-encounter namin.” she said.

After the vaccination, the couple did not observe any adverse effects.

“May sakit, but natural. I will advise them to take it because your contracting COVID. Hindi serious. It will not cause death,” she noted.

Meanwhile, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora stressed that they will not force any senior citizen to get vaccinated.

Once the supply of the AstraZeneca arrives, they can still get the vaccine.

“Mayroong may gusto, mayroong ayaw. Mayroong ayaw rin sa AstraZeneca kase ang gusto nila traditional method of vaccines,” Zamora noted.

“At any point they want to back out, pwede naman. Hindi naman natin sila pinipilit,” he added.

San Juan City has inoculated around 1,038 senior citizens using AstraZeneca while more than 100 received the Sinovac vaccine, as of today.

“Malalaman natin ngayon kung marami bang tatanggi o maraming tutuloy sa pagbabakuna. Give us a few days kung ano yung magiging acceptance level ng sinovac and here also to observe and to see kung ano magiging reaction ng ating senior citizens,” he concluded. MNP (with reports from Janice Ingente)

DOST to conduct clinical trials on ivermectin if DOH, FDA order so

Marje Pelayo   •   April 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is maintaining its position regarding calls for clinical trials on veterinary drug ivermectin as treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Secretary Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said clinical trial projects will require six months and can extend to years.

He added that since there are almost 20 completed and 40 ongoing clinical trials around the world on ivermectin, it would be appropriate to await the results of these studies.

De la Peña noted, however, that they will heed the directive of the Department of Health (DOH) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should they require the DOST to conduct a trial.

“Kung sasabihan kami ng ahensya tulad ng DOH or FDA na mag-conduct ng clinical trial ay aming susundin ang kanilang advise,” the official said during Monday (April 12) edition of Laging Handa Briefing.

According to the FDA, the registered ivermectin products in the country for human use are in topical formulations under prescription use only.

This is used for the treatment of external parasites such as head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea.

As for the results of the clinical trial, De la Peña said there is still no clear details as to whether or not ivermectin is effective against COVID-19.

“According to DOH walang maliwanag na iyon [ivermectin] ay nakakabuti sa [pasyente na may] COVID -19,” he said.

He also also suggested waiting for the published results of ongoing trials in other countries.

“Hintayin na lang na matapos kasi advance na ang data gathering nila,” De la Peña said.

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