No need for vital signs screening before COVID-19 vaccination, DOH says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021   •   360

MANILA, Philippines – The vital signs screening will no longer be included in the vaccination process against COVID-19 as part of efforts to expedite the immunization in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have already issued guidelines regarding the matter after DOH advisors and vaccination experts approved the recommendation from the Philippine Heart Association and the Philippine Society of Hypertension.

She said the new policy was approved after a DOH time and motion study found that walk-in vaccine recipients and the vital signs screening were causing long queues in vaccination sites.

“Meron na ngayong patakaran here in Metro Manila ang ating mga local government, only those master listed should go to the vaccination site kaya lang ngayon siyempre ang mga kababayan natin, very eager sila na magpabakuna na kahit hindi sila yung scheduled for that day, they go to the vaccination site, so that’s one,” Vergeire said.

“Pangalawa, nakita natin na there are certain processes within our system na nakakatagal talaga and one of those would be the vital signs screening, yung pag-BP (blood pressure), pagkuha ng temperature, pagkuha ng pulse rate, ng heart rate,” she added.

Under the new guidelines, Vergeire said that healthcare workers only need to closely monitor individuals with established hypertension or organ damage prior to their vaccination.

“Ang kailangan lang nating bantayan, especially for the blood pressure, would be yung blood pressure na 180/120 or more. Pero yung iba, kahit tumataas yung presyon, maaari pa rin naman natin silang bakunahan,” she said.

“Naglagay rin tayo sa guidelines natin na there should be a separate lane para sa mga taong gusto nating obserbahan because of their established history ng kaniang mga sakit para hindi po sila nakakadagdag doon sa pila,” she added.

Vergeire also said that the DOH is eyeing to expand vaccination sites to help speed up the rollout.

The health official also noted that the public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines has increased citing a survey they conducted in March.

Vergeire said the poll showed that 75 percent of respondents said that they are willing to get immunized if a vaccine was available, and 85.8 percent said they would get inoculated if they knew that the vaccines were safe and effective.

“Nakita po natin yung pagtaas talaga ng kumpiyansa ng ating mga kababayan noong nakita nilang marami na ring nababakunahan,” she said.

The Philippines has so far administered over 2.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with over 500,000 who are fully vaccinated.

Manila City allows walk-ins in all vaccination sites

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA Philippines — The Manila City Government on Monday (June 21) now allow walk-ins in all vaccination sites.

According to Manila Public Information Office (MPIO), the directive of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno was after having a low turnout in vaccination sites. The mayor said he directed not to allow walk-ins in order to prove to critics the effect if the system would only be done through scheduling.

“I’m not a believer of scheduling but we tried it today para doon sa mga may mema, iyong  may masabi lang ang naggagaling-galingan lang (for those who just wanted to complain),” he said.

The Manila local government reported that only 4,210 doses were administered on Monday (June 21) from the 28,000 allocated doses. AAC

No favoritism in deployment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday denied claims it is favoring certain areas when it comes to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by American drug firm Pfizer-BioNTech.

The DOH issued the statement following reports that Davao City has received a substantial number of Pfizer jabs.

Davao City is President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed that the national government is not giving any preferential treatment and that available vaccine doses in the country are allocated based on need and the prioritization framework.

“Wala pong paborito, base lang po sa pangangailangan, base lang po sa prioritization framework,” Vergeire said during a press briefing.

Reports claimed that Davao City got a huge number of Pfizer vaccine doses while other regions in Mindanao received fewer jabs.

But Dr. Adbullah Dumama Jr., DOH Undersecretary for the Visayas and Mindanao Field Implementation and Coordination team, said the 210,000 doses for Davao is for the whole region and not only for the City.

The same amount of Pfizer jabs were also allotted for Cebu Province, he added.

“Wala pong pagkakaiba yung doses na naibigay sa Cebu at sa Davao… Wala hong favoritism dito,” he said in the same briefing.

 “Hindi po ito pang Davao City lang. Sa Davao region po ito at yung mga karatig pook na merong mga pangangailangan sa Pfizer,” he added.

Dumama also said that Davao and Cebu areas were given Pfizer shots because they have ultra-low freezers that are capable of storing the vaccine.

“Nabigyan lang ito ng ganun kalaki [na allocation], kung sa palagay ninyo ay malaki, ay dahil sa tayo ay mayroong capability, meron po tayong ultra-low temperature freezers dito. Doon ho sa ibang lugar, wala pa pero dahil sa dito lang ito, maaari kaming magbigay as ibang lugar na nangnangailangan,” he said.

According to Vergeire, there are only five areas in the country that have yet to receive Pfizer vaccines due to lack of appropriate vaccine storage capability. There are the Bangsamoro region, Caraga, Regions 12, 5 and Mimaropa.

The Bangsamoro government earlier said it will pass a resolution that would authorize the procurement of ultra-low freezers and increase its vaccination centers in the region.

The national government has announced it has inked a deal with Pfizer-BioNTech for the purchase of 40 million doses, which may be delivered starting August this year.

The DOH said it is now preparing to capacitate all regions in the country to handle the storage of Pfizer vaccines.

 

DOH: Over 2.1 million persons in PH now fully vaccinated vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 2,153,942 people have completed their COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday.

Based on the vaccine statistics released by the government, a total of 8,407,342 doses have already been administered in the country as of June 20. Of this figure, 6,253,400 have received their first dose.

The agency said that in the A1 or first priority group, a total of 1,569,561 have received their first shot while 1,067,630 have completed 2 doses.

In the A2 or the second priority group, a total of 2,001,758 were given the first dose. On the other hand, 553,527 received their second dose.

In the A3 sector, 2,088,000 received their first jab while 524,699 were fully vaccinated.

In the A4 group, 526,896 got their first jab and 8,086 received their second dose.

Around 67,185 persons under the A5 group were given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The DOH also said that the total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the 16th week of the national vaccination reached a record high of 1,461,666 doses.

It also noted that the average daily administered doses in the last seven days were 208,809.

“The government is urging eligible populations belonging to priority groups A1 to A5 to register with their local government units, get vaccinated, and complete the required number of doses as scheduled,” the DOH said.

“Regardless of vaccination status, everyone is urged to continue practicing the minimum public health standards as you may still get infected with COVID-19 and infect other people,” it added.

The national government is eyeing to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year to attain population protection against COVID-19.

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