FDA, nilinaw na maaari pa ring gamitin ang Sinovac vaccine para sa healthcare workers

Robie de Guzman   •   February 23, 2021   •   152

MANILA, Philippines – Nilinaw ng Food and Drug Administration (FDA) na maaari pa rin namang gamitin ang Sinovac vaccines sa healthcare workers dahil may maibibigay pa rin naman itong proteksiyon para sa mga hindi exposed o walang contact sa mga pasyenteng may COVID-19.

Ginawa ni FDA Director General Eric Domingo ang paglilinaw matapos nitong ihayag noong Lunes na hindi inirerekomenda sa healthcare workers na exposed sa COVID-19 patients ang Sinovac dahil nasa 50.4% lamang ang efficacy rate nito batay sa resulta ng pagsusuri sa bansang Brazil.

“Recommendation lamang naman yun halimabawa ayaw na niyang hintayin yung ibang bakuna and then willing naman siya to take the vaccine knowing na ang possible efficacy nito sa situation mo is 50% and you’d rather take it now rather than 1 or 2 months from now kung kelan darating yung bakuna pwede naman yun. Hindi naman namin sya ipinagbabawal na gamitin,” ang pahayag ni Domingo.

Paliwanag ni Domingo, bumababa ang bisa ng bakuna kapag madalas na nakakasalamuha ng isang tao ang pasyenteng may COVID-19.

“Ang tao naman kasi iba iba ang situation natin, iba iba rin ang ating suceptibility, saka iba iba yung exposure natin, so depende po yan sa situation. Maaring mas bumaba ang efficacy ng isang vaccine kung tayo ay nasa situation talagang nasa harap natin araw araw yung covid virus, at the exposure is continuous and at high level,” ang paliwanag ng opisyal.

“Maaaring kahit mabakunahan ka ng first dose pero hindi ka pa nakaka-mount ng enough response to ward off yung infection kasi nga masyadong regular iyong exposure sa to the covid-19 virus,” dagdag pa niya.

Binigyang-diin din ng pinuno ng FDA na bagaman naghihintay pa rin na maipalathala ang mga datos ukol sa clinical trial ng Sinovac ay may mga sapat namang batayan para masegurong ligtas itong gamitin.

Posible rin aniyang mapalawak pa ang grupo o edad na pwedeng tumanggap ng naturang bakuna dahil hindi pa tapos ang ginagawa ritong clinical trial.

Tiniyak din ni Domingo na maaari pang marebisa ang mga probisyon sa ibinigay na emergency use authorization ng Pilipinas para sa Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

More frontliners in Manila register for city’s COVID-19 vaccination program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—More frontliners in the city of Manila have pre-registered for the city’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said that the number of registrants increased from the initial 200 to 1,900 on Monday when the government launched its vaccination drive.

This is almost half of the total number of medical frontliners in six government hospitals in the city.

Maraming na-inspire na mga doctor at nurses. So, umakyat ng 1,900 ang aming nagparehistro. So, kaya ang payo ko, don’t miss the opportunity. Ang pinakamabisang bakuna ay ang bakunang nasa braso mo (A lot of doctors and nurses were inspired so 1,900 registered. My advice is to not miss the opportunity. The most effective vaccine is the vaccine injected in your arm), he said.

Domagoso assured vaccine registrants they can still choose the brand of vaccine they want to receive.

An initial 3,000 Sinovac vaccine vials have been delivered to Manila City which will be administered to 1,500 individuals. The city government aims to vaccinate one of the two doses within the week.

Meanwhile, Domagoso said he is waiting for a proper clearance before getting vaccinated as policy states that medical frontliners are the priority for the COVID-19 vaccines. AAC

12,000 doses of CoronaVac arrive in Davao City; vaccination rollout to start on Friday

Maris Federez   •   March 2, 2021

DAVAO CITY, Philippines Aboard the flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), 12,000 doses (placed in 20 boxes) of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccines arrived at the Davao International Airport on Tuesday, March 2, at 6:45 in the morning.

The 12,000 doses of CoronaVac are allocated for the vaccination of more than 8,000 frontliners, most of whom are healthcare workers (HCW).

However, the vaccines were brought to the Department of Health (DOH) Regional office, instead of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) as originally planned.

The DOH said this is because Sinovac vaccines are not as temperature-sensitive as that of Pfizer vaccines which the SPMC storage facility was designed and constructed for.

CoronaVac can be stored in a storage facility with a +2 to +8˚Celsius temperature, as compared to that of Pfizer vaccines which require a -70˚Celsius temperature.

The DOH said they did not encounter any problems in the transportation of the vaccines from the airport to the DOH office.

The health department also reported that the vaccination rollout among frontliners will begin on Friday, with a target of 150 HWCs.

Based on the DOH priority list, 3,000 HCWs from the SPMC will be inoculated first, to be followed by those from private hospitals.

SPMC OIC Dr. Ricardo Audan, Davao City COVID-19 focal person Dr. Ashley Lopez, and DOH Regional Director Annabelle Yumang volunteered to receive the vaccines first to set an example to their colleagues. —/mbmf (with details from Davao Correspondent, Marisol Montaño)

PH detects 6 cases of South Africa COVID-19 variant, 30 new cases of UK variant

UNTV News   •   March 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has recorded six new cases of the B.1.351 variant (South Africa variant) of COVID-19; 30 additional cases of the B.1.1.7 variant (UK variant) and 2 cases additional cases with mutations of interest.

An official statement issued by the Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said, the new cases were among 8th batch of 350 samples sequenced by the UP-Philippine Genome Center.

Of the six South African variant cases, three are local cases, two are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and one case is still being verified as to location.

The three local cases were reported as residents of Pasay City. Meanwhile, the two returning overseas Filipinos arrived in the country from UAE and Qatar; their statuses are currently being verified. Moreover, the DOH is currently verifying if the sixth case is a local case or an imported case.

“To date, there are already 48 countries with reported cases of the B.1.351 variant. While there is no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease, the pattern of mutations within this variant suggests higher transmissibility and may have an impact on vaccine efficacy,” DOH said.

Meanwhile, of the 30 new cases of the UK variant 20 of these are ROFs; three are local cases, and seven are currently being verified if these are local cases or ROFs.

The 20 detected ROFs entered the country from the Middle East, Singapore, and the United States of America between January 20 and February 16, 2021. Thirteen (13) of these are asymptomatic active cases, while seven have now recovered.

On the other hand, the three (3) local B.1.1.7 variant cases are from the Cordillera Administrative Region.

One case is currently active and is admitted to a hospital, one has recovered, and one is a reported fatality. The relation of the 3 local cases to previously reported B.1.1.7 variant cases in the region is currently being investigated.

On the cases with mutations of interest, the latest sequencing results showed that two (2) additional samples from Region 7 were found to have both N501Y and E484K mutations.

The DOH reiterated that despite the arrival of the vaccines in the country, adherence to minimum public health standards is still the best course of action to prevent community transmission and further virus mutations.

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