PH gov’t in talks with 6 potential local vaccine manufacturers – DOST

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021   •   1205

MANILA, Philippines – The government is currently in talks with six companies that are planning to establish vaccination manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Thursday.

In a virtual press briefing, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said these companies are local drug makers that have expressed intents to open vaccine-making facilities in the country in the next few years.

“These are local pharmaceutical companies. Wala pa tayong local vaccine manufacturers in the Philippines. These local pharmaceutical companies are trying to come up with a new product, which is a vaccine,” she said.

Guevara declined to name specific companies, citing confidentiality, as negotiations are still ongoing. She, however, gave descriptions of the six firms.

One is a local distributor of a South Korean company, another has extensive facilities in Asia and is planning to partner with a foreign brand name where all the vaccines that the country needs are being manufactured.

The third company is connected to a vaccine developer in Germany, while another firm is planning to start a local vaccine manufacturing business with a fill-and-finish facility.

The fifth company is a long-term partner of a Chinese vaccine producer that is interested in local manufacturing, while the sixth firm is still looking for a possible partner but is planning to partner with a US pharmaceutical company.

Guevara also disclosed that two of these companies have been aggressive in pushing for local vaccine production.

“If they pursue their plans, based on what they have told us, parang kakayanin nilang mag-produce ng vaccine by late 2022,” she said.

Guevara said these manufacturing facilities will not just produce COVID-19 vaccines but also other jabs against rubella, polio, and other vaccine-preventable diseases, for about 40 million doses per year.

The national government has been eyeing to establish the country’s own vaccine institute to locally produce vaccines and sustain the needs for immunization programs.

The DOST said the country is also in talks with 25 international manufacturers, including the Serum Institute of India which has previously offered assistance for the Philippines to locally manufacture vaccines. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Brunei donates 2,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— Around 2,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Brunei government to the Philippines  arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Wednesday.

The said shipment will be allotted for the vaccination of the general public, according to National Task Force against COVID-19 special adviser Dr. Teodoro Herbosa,

Herbosa expressed his gratitude to the government of Brunei on behalf of the Philippines for the vaccine donation.

As of October 20, a total of 91,548,620 COVID-19 vaccine doses from various manufacturers have arrived in the Philippines. AAC

Rollout ng 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose, pinaghahandaan na – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Department of Health (DOH) na pinaghahandaan na nito ang roll out ng ikatlong dose ng COVID-19 vaccine para sa mga health worker (A1), senior citizen (A2) at immunocompromised individuals (A3).

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, ang hakbang na ito ay batay sa rekomendasyon ng Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization ng World Health Organization (WHO) na pagbibigay ng dagdag na COVID-19 vaccine shot sa mga nabanggit na grupo na tumanggap ng Sinovac at Sinopharm brands.

Ngunit para maisagawa ito, sinabi ni Vergeire na kailangang maamyendahan ang emergency use authorization ng mga bakuna sa bansa na ang nakasaad na dosing regimen ay dalawa lamang, at isa naman para sa Janssen vaccine.

“Mangyayari lang po iyan kapag nakapaglabas ang Food and Drug Administration ng emergency use authority. Kung matatandaan natin, ang EUA natin para sa mga bakunang meron tayo ay para lang sa pirimary series natin. Ibig sabihin, dalawang doses for most of the vaccine, and sa isang bakua natin Janssen, it’s just one dose, to get fully vaccinated,” ani Vergeire.

Ipinaliwanag rin ng DOH ang kaibahan ng third dose sa booster dose ng bakuna.

Ani Vergeire, ang third dose ay ibinibigay para sa grupo o populasyon ng mga taong mataas ang risk ng infection at walang sapat na immunity kaya nangangailangan sila ng isa pang dosing regimen ng kanilang natanggap na bakuna.

“Third dose, ito ay ibinibigay as part of the primary series. Kung matatandaan niyo in our list of vaccines that we currently use katulad ng Hepatitis B at iba pa nating bakuna, tatlong doses sila,” paliwanag ni Vergeire.

“As the evidence grow further na nabigyan ng kumpletong ebidensya, naipakita ng bakuna na kapag binigyan ng third dose mas nabo-boost ang immune response ng tao and that is the additional dose,” dagdag pa niya.

Ang booster dose naman ay ibinibigay ilang buwan pagkatapos ng primary dosing kapag bumaba na ang immunity ng isang nabakunahan nito.

“When we talk about boosters, itong nakareceive na ng primary series ng bakuna, ibig sabihin fully vaccinated na at naka-receive na ng dalawang dose o di kaya Janssen ang nakuha mo naka-receive ka na ng isang dose,” ani Vergeire.

Hanggang ngayon aniya ay pinag-aaralan pa ng mga eksperto ang pagbibigay ng booster shot.

Wala rin pang rekomendasyon ang WHO ukol rito lalo’t limitado pa rin ang supply ng COVID-19 vaccines.

WHO backs 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shot for elderlies, immunocompromised

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday expressed support to proposals seeking to administer a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised people who were not able to develop full immunity after receiving two doses.

WHO representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said they are advocating for a third dose for immunocompromised individuals as an extended primary vaccination course.

Senior citizens who also received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine made either by Sinovac or Sinopharm should also be given a third shot of the same vaccine brand.

“Our recommendation is that in addition to immunocompromised individuals, that we include all individuals who have received primary vaccination of two doses with Sinovac or Sinopharm to receive a third dose provided it’s more than 3 months since the completion of their first 2 doses,” he said.

“We don’t have a recommendation for general population,” he added.

The Philippine government has yet to decide on the issue of giving a booster shot but it earlier said it has allocated a budget for its procurement next year.

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