Oxford COVID-19 vaccine ‘highly effective’ based on trial

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 24, 2020   •   314

The COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Oxford University and manufactured by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, is reported to be highly effective based on the late-stage trials.

Over 20,000 volunteers participated in the trials in Brazil and the United Kingdom (UK).

Based on the trial, the vaccine can provide an average efficacy of 70% protection against the virus.

Researchers also said its protection rate can scale up to 90% efficacy rate when given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart.

They also considered the results a success, even though the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are reported to be 95 per cent and 94.5 percent effective respectively.

However, researchers said the vaccine developed by Oxford is more affordable and easier to ship across countries.

The UK government already pre-ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine. AstraZeneca said they will manufacture three billion doses by next year. AAC (with reports from Jovic Bermas)

DFA Consular Office in General Santos City closed until Jan. 26

Marje Pelayo   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) informs the public that its Consular Office in General Santos City will be temporarily closed on Monday (January 25).

This is to give way to disinfection activities in its office premises and the implementation of other preventive measures to manage risks against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Consular Office will resume its regular operations on Tuesday (January 26).

Affected applicants with confirmed appointments who are unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations must secure another appointment by emailing gensan.rco@dfa.gov.ph with the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Original appointment date and time
  • Preferred date and time of new appointment

The preferred new appointment may be on any working day from Monday to Friday from January 26 to February 26 during the CO’s regular operation hours 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Applicants that need emergency or urgent Consular services may contact CO General Santos by email at gensan.rco@dfa.gov.ph.

The DFA requests the public’s understanding and cooperation as we continue to battle against this pandemic.

DFA logs 3 new recoveries from COVID-19 among overseas Filipinos

Marje Pelayo   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday (January 24) reported three new recoveries from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among Filipinos abroad.

This brings a total of 8,820 Filipinos already recovered from the disease outside of the country.

To date, the number of Filipinos abroad who tested positive for the virus is at 13,779 while the number of fatalities remain at 945, mostly recorded in the Americas.

Meanwhile, a total of 4,017 Filipinos are still undergoing treatment in different health facilities around the world, majority of them are in the Middle East and Africa.

The DFA said it remains fully committed to monitoring the situation of overseas Filipinos who are affected by the pandemic and remains steadfast in promoting and protecting their welfare.

Non-compliance with minimum health standards is like choosing to become transmission agent — Duque

Maris Federez   •   January 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III on Saturday (January 23) emphasized that breaches in compliance with the minimum public health standards are the primary driver of infection and mutation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“What may seem as a minor breach in the protocol or a misstep in our masking and coughing etiquettes can lead to a spike in cases. The next time we place our masks below our chins, raise our face shields above our heads, or the next time we go out and mingle just because we can without fear of consequences, we are choosing to become an agent of transmission,” the health chief said.

Duque made the statement during the virtual press conference announcing the detection of 16 additional cases of the UK variant of the deadly disease in the country.

The health official called on the public to continue doing the preventive measures – and doing them properly – as these seemingly insignificant actions may spell the difference in the lives of other people down the chain of infection.

Duque underscored that the actions of each and everyone can save the lives of people by preventing transmission.

“It is the little things that can stop the spread of disease–the proper wearing of a mask and face shield may be uncomfortable at times, but enduring a little discomfort can save lives,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country has recorded 1,797 new COVID-19 cases, as of 4pm, January 23, bringing the total number of active cases to 33,603.

The department also noted 166 recoveries and 54 fatalities, tallying total recoveries to 467,886 and deaths to 10,190. — /mbmf

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