First batch of J&J COVID-19 vaccine shots arrives in Bangsamoro region – NTF

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2021   •   403

The first batch of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine doses have been deployed to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

In a statement, the task force said a total of 30,000 doses of the single-shot vaccine arrived in Tawi-Tawi on Monday and will be rolled out in the municipalities of Sitangkai, Turtles Island, and Mapun Island.

Another 30,000 shots have also been shipped to the province of Basilan.

These Janssen vaccine doses are part of the 3.2 million shots donated by the United States government through the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX facility. The jabs arrived in the country last week.

According to BARMM Health Minister Basharay Latiph, the rollout of the Janssen vaccine will begin after the Eid-al Adha.

The vaccines will be distributed to the island-provinces beginning Wednesday, July 21, and that vaccinators from the BARMM Ministry of Health will also be sent to the areas to administer the shots, he added.

In coordination with the Western Mindanao Command, the NTF said that at least 40,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine allocated for Sulu will be deployed on Tuesday, July 20 through a military aircraft.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr said that out of the 10 million doses of anti-COVID 19 vaccines received by the national government this month, more than 300,000 doses have been allocated to the BARMM.

The shipment is composed of 150,000 Janssen vaccines, 19,500 COVAX-donated Astrazeneca vaccines, and 130,992 Sinovac vaccines.

“Our commitment to COVAX and the US government is that the vaccine supply, particularly Johnson & Johnson will be deployed equitably to all regions. The first deployment in BARMM is particularly intended for geographically-isolated islands and those communities living in our borders and along the boundaries of the Philippines,” said Galvez.

“Priority should really be given in these areas. Our development partners like UNICEF, who have seen first-hand the difficult situation in BARMM, have also given the same recommendation. And we are happy to share the same views and approaches on how these vaccines should be deployed,” he added.

As part of the COVAX-donated supply, the Janssen vaccines are to be used to inoculate priority groups who are highly vulnerable to the disease, as identified by the WHO.

In particular, the vaccines will be administered to healthcare workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with comorbidities (A3).

Galvez said additional vaccine doses will be shipped to the BARMM in the coming weeks.

The NTF said that over 113,000 jabs have already been administered in BARMM. Around 80,478 residents received their first dose while 33,085 individuals have been fully vaccinated.

LIST: Conditions of immunocompromised persons eligible for COVID-19 booster shots

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday released a list of conditions for immunocompromised individuals that will qualify them for an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Immunocompromised persons with the following conditions are eligible for a booster shot:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • HIV
  • Cancer/Malignancy
  • Transplant patients
  • Undergoing steroid treatment
  • Patients with poor prognosis/ bed-ridden patients

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH met with experts on COVID-19 vaccine to discuss and prepare the guidelines for the administration of booster shots for immunocompromised individuals (A3) and senior citizens (A2).

“Gagawin lang po namin ang guidelines and we will be announcing through our National Vaccine Operations Cluster kung kailan po maguumpisa ang pagbabakuna ng booster or 3rd doses para sa ating mga nakakatanda or A2 and those individuals with immunocompromised states,” Vergeire said.

The Philippine government started administering booster shots for fully vaccinated healthcare workers this week.

“There were already 2,488 booster doses administered last Nov. 17 among our healthcare workers. Meron ho tayong kaunti na nagkaroon ng reaction, it’s about 2 percent of all of these,” she said.

“Lahat po ay na-manage accordingly and they were all sent home na they were well. Wala tayong serious na adverse events na naitala para dito sa mga naka-received na ng booster doses,” she added.

Vergeire said that most of the adverse events reported were mild such as headache, elevated blood pressure, fever, and pain on the injection site.

She stressed that healthcare workers are not required to get an additional vaccine dose.

Vergeire also reminded the public that the booster dosing is not yet recommended for the general public, adding that its implementation to other priority groups will be done in phases.

PH receives over 600K Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shots

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has received another batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said Friday.

In a statement, the NTF said the shipment containing a total of 609,570 doses arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday night.

The latest shipment of Pfizer jabs is part of the 40 million vaccine shots procured by the government, it added.

To date, a total of 129,053,970 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to the Philippines since February.

Government data showed that as of November 17, a total of 72,763,442 of vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, of which 40,179,796 Filipinos have already received their first dose while 32,581,158 individuals are now fully vaccinated.

The government aims to fully vaccinate 54 million Filipinos by the end of the year, the NTF said.

3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose para sa senior citizens, maaaring umpisahan sa 3-day vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Inirerekomenda ng isang miyembro ng Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) na isabay na sa gagawing tatlong araw na national vaccination drive ang pagbibigay ng third dose para sa mga senior citizen.

Nakatakda ang national vaccination drive sa Nobyembre 29 hanggang Disyembre 1.

Nitong Miyerkules naman sinimulan ang pagbibigay ng booster shot sa fully vaccinated healthcare workers.

Ayon kay Dr. Nina Gloriani, ang pinuno ng Department of Science and Technology VEP, maaaring isabay na rin sa vaccination drive ang pagbabakuna ng booster doses para sa mga senior citizen dahil halos pareho lang ang period ng immunity ng mga bakuna.

Batay sa pag-aaral ng mga eksperto, tatlo hanggang limang buwan ang karaniwang proteksyon na ibinibigay ng bakuna sa mga senior citizen. Mas maikli ito kumpara sa nakukuha ng general population na anim hanggang sampung buwan.

“Generally po iyon, iyong six months. Iyong iba, depende rin sa tao. Kapag elderly po or immunocompromised, mas maaga mawa-wane iyan. So mayroon pong mga data that showed na three months palang, four months, five months bumababa na,” ang paliwanag ni Gloriani.

“Pero sa general population po […]  mga six months po. Pero iyong iba maganda pa rin ang immune response nila ang eight months after ten months,” dagdag pa niya.

Aniya, maaaring tumanggap ng kahit anong brand ng booster shot ang mga senior citizen.

Puwede rin sa kanila ang mga vaccine combination alinsunod sa guidelines ng Department of Health.

Siguraduhin lamang na walang contraindication o posibleng komplikasyon ang vaccine brand na gagamitin kung magpapabakuna ng booster shot.

Samantala, hindi pa nirerekomenda ng mga eksperto and pagbibigay ng booster shot para sa mga bata.

Ayon kay Gloriani, kailangan munang matapos ang two doses ng kanilang bakuna bago magpaturok ng booster shot.

“Sa mga bata hindi pa po natin pinag-uusapan iyan. Tatapusin muna nila ang two doses. Sa mga bata po kasi maganda ang immune response nila. Mas mataas kaysa sa mga may edad. So hindi po tayo masyadong nagwo-worry sa waning immunity. Hindi po muna,” ang wika ni Gloriani.

Sa ngayon ay nagpapatuloy ang nationwide rollout ng COVID-19 pediatric vaccination sa mga batang may edad 12 hanggang 17. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

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