FDA grants EUA to Gamaleya’s COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 19, 2021   •   294

MANILA, Philippines—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Russian pharmaceutical firm Gamaleya for its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine Sputnik V.

On Friday (March 19),  FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said the EUA was issued after conducting a thorough and rigorous review by medical experts.

Sputnik V is the fourth COVID-19 vaccine that received EUA in the Philippines after Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sinovac.

It can be administered on individuals aged 18 years and older. Domingo also said no specific safety concerns have been identified.

According to the Department of Health (DOH) Sputnik V has an efficacy rate of 91.6% and it requires two doses which should be administered 21 days apart. AAC

KNOW YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE: GAMALEYA SPUTNIK V

Information you need to know about the Gamaleya Sputnik V COVID-19…

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Thursday, March 18, 2021

 

Duterte: I asked Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping for help on COVID-19 vaccines but no talks on WPS

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday disclosed that he asked help from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines but insisted that they did not discuss issues on the West Philippine Sea.

During his talk to the people on Monday night, Duterte recalled how he called Xi when the Philippines had yet to get any supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Let me just also say na itong history na… for public consumption na ito. Tumawag ako kay President Xi Jinping, sinabi ko kasi noong kasagsagan ng walang dumating talaga, walang makapkap si Secretary (Carlito) Galvez (Jr.), tumawag ako, sabi ko, ‘Mr. President (Xi), I would like to ask for your help until now Philippines is at a loss on how to get vaccines,’” he said.

“Sabi niya, ‘it’s okay we will help you.’ Ganoon lang. Hindi naman sinabi na kalimutan mo yung Scarborough Shoal, bigyan kita… Sinabi niya lang as simple as that,” he added.

The Philippines first received 600,000 doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines that were donated by the Chinese government on February 28. The national government used this supply to roll out its vaccination program on March 1.

In total, the Philippines has received 1 million donated Sinovac vaccine doses from China, including the 400,000 doses that were delivered in March.

Duterte stood by his earlier statement that the Philippines owes a debt of gratitude to China for all its help but emphasized that there would be no compromise on the West Philippine Sea issue.

“It’s never, never wrong to say that I owe you a debt of gratitude. Totoo eh, binigyan tayo, tinanggap natin, ginamit natin,” he said.

“But it does not mean na tanggapin ko ang bakuna tapos sabihin ko kalimutan ko na yung claim diyan sa West Philippine sea, okay na yun dahil sa bakuna… It was never like that, the world does not operate like that,” he added.

He said there would be no compromise on the issue and that China knows it.

“Maski bahain tayo dito ng vaccine, gagamitin ko pa rin pero sabihin ko ‘hindi ito kabayaran’. Iba ito. This is a Philippine national interest, this is not a health issue that nagpasalamat ako,” he said.

Correction:
An earlier version of this article misstated that “they did discuss issues.” 

DOH, not endorsing steam inhalation or ‘suob’ as treatment for COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   May 11, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Steam inhalation or ‘suob’ has become popular as a home remedy to relieve patients having difficulty breathing particularly COVID-19 infected individuals since the pandemic started.

But the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) do not endorse this method in treating COVID-19.

“Unang-una ang (suob) po is like a steam inhalation, so when you are doing it with your family na hindi kayo nasa inyong kuwarto, maaring maikalat pa nito ang infection,” explained DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“It aerosolized iyong air so iyong virus might stay longer in the air and your family member might get infected,” she added.

Health advocate Dr. Tony Leachon is among those who do not believe in steam inhalation for COVID-19.

“Makakasama pa nga iyan dahil magbubuga ka nyan ng mga droplets that will actually create more problems for the people,” he noted.

But for Dr. Dale Pasco, a proponent of steam inhalation believes it could play a vital role in treating COVID-10 patients.

He himself experienced its efficacy when he recommended it to his sister who had COVID-19 and to more than a hundred of his patients who consulted him.

Dr. Pasco also cites a study in Italy that showed a favorable result of steam inhalation to a COVID-positive patient.

“Iyong study na iyon they have proven. We have concluded na ang temperature na 56 degrees na nasa steam inhalation o nasa sa suob it really kills the virus,” he noted.

Dr. Pasco said he already sent a letter to the DOH, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and even to the Office of the President to conduct a study on the matter but to no avail.

“Kung sana naaprubahan yung proposal ko we could have already gone back to normal which I don’t think we do need vaccines anymore,” he concluded. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Manila distributes 4th tranche of food box assistance under COVID-19 Food Security Program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Local Government Unit (LGU) has begun the distribution of the fourth tranche of food box assistance under the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Food Security Program (FSP).

The distribution, through the joint efforts of the city’s Department of Public Services, Department of Engineering and Public Works, and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau, began on May 8.

The target beneficiaries are about 700,000 families living in Manila. As of May 9 at 5:00 p.m., 139,000 food boxes have already been distributed to 122 barangays in District 1.

Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said the program aims to ease the public’s economic burden amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ito ay iyong pinasa naming batas, sa tulong ni Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna at mga konsehal noong Disyembre, upang ibsan ang inyong mga tustusin buwan-buwan at para lumaki naman ang inyong savings. Dahil sa epekto ng inflation or hirap ng buhay ng tao, nagmamahal ang produkto, hindi naman tumataas ang sweldo (This is the law we enacted with the help of Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and the councilors in December to ease the monthly expenses and for families to increase their savings. Due to inflation or life’s difficulties, price of commodities increase but the salary is still the same),” he said.

Around P3-billion have already been allocated since the implementation of the FSP in February, wherein three kilos of rice, 16 pieces of canned goods, and eight sachets of coffee will be packed and distributed to Manila residents. The program will continue until July this year. AAC

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