PH receives 2.28M more COVID-19 vaccines via COVAX facility

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021   •   246

MANILA, Philippines—Around 2.28 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines arrived in the Philippines  Thursday evening (June 10) from the COVAX Facility.

The Department of Health (DOH) said these doses will be administered to those who are not fully vaccinated and those belonging to priority groups A1 to A3 which include healthcare workers, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III stated the importance of inoculating citizens belonging to the A1 to A3 priority groups. He also encouraged citizens belonging to the said categories to contact their local government units (LGUs) and register for vaccination.

“We will use these vaccines among our A1 to A3 priority groups. If we don’t vaccinate them we will encounter the same packed emergency rooms, unavailable intensive care units, and even hospital beds during the next surge,” he said.

World Health Organization Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said the WHO urges National Task Force and the local government units to establish mechanisms to increase accessibility to vaccination of the healthcare workers and elderly across the country.

“Given the surge in cases in some regions, it is urgent to achieve high vaccination coverage in these A1 to A3 groups to protect those at risk of severe disease and death,” he said.

The Philippines has previously received 193,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the COVAX Facility on 10 May 2021. AAC


Community pantries sa Metro Manila, hindi muna papayagang magbukas sa ilalim ng ECQ – Abalos

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Ipagbabawal muna ang operasyon ng community pantries sa Metro Manila habang nasa ilalim ng enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) ang rehiyon.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, napagkasunduan ito ng mga alkalde sa Metro Manila upang mapigilan ang super spreader events.

“As much as possible kasi ang purpose ng ECQ ay talagang huwag lumabas ng bahay, kung magpapa-pila tayo sa labas at magbibigay tayo, baka magkagulo (ang mga tao),” ani Abalos.

Isasailalim sa ECQ ang Metro Manila simula sa Agosto 6 hanggang sa Agosto 20.

Sa panahong ito, tanging essential o mahahalagang biyahe at serbisyo lamang ang papayagan. Mas pinahaba rin ang curfew hours sa Metro Manila mula alas-8 ng gabi hanggang alas-4 ng madaling araw.

Layunin ng hakbang na mapigilan ang lalo pang pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa harap na rin ng banta ng mga mas nakakahawang coronavirus variants.

Ngunit paglilinaw ni Abalos, maaari pa rin namang magsagawa ng outreach programs kung nais ng sinuman na makatulong sa mga nangangailangan ngunit dapat ay gawin ito sa mas maayos na paraan.

“Siguro kung talagang gustong tumulong, wala namang problema ro’n pero siguro gumawa tayo ng magandang sistema,” ani Abalos.

Payo ng MMDA sa mga organizer ng community pantries, makipag-ugnayan muna sa mga lokal na pamahalaan para sa gagawin nilang sistema ng distribusyon ng ayuda, gaya ng paghahatid sa bahay ng mga magiging benepisyaryo nito. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Marvin Calas)

US-donated Moderna vaccines to arrive in PH on August 3 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 3,000,060 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated by the government of the United States are set to arrive in the Philippines on Tuesday, August 3, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte will personally welcome the arrival of the donated vaccines.

Duterte earlier expressed his gratitude to the administration of US President Joe Biden for committing three million vaccine doses, which he said, will greatly help the government’s mass immunization drive amid the threat of more contagious coronavirus variants.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo. I’d like to thank the President of the United States, si Biden, the government and the people of America for not forgetting us,” Duterte said during his public address late Monday.

The United States donated three million doses of Moderna vaccine through the COVAX vaccine-sharing program led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and GAVI.

Aside from the US-donated Moderna shots, Roque said additional Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses procured by the government are expected to arrive this month.

One million Sinovac shots may be delivered in the first week of August and over seven million in the succeeding weeks.

More than 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the United Kingdom have already arrived in Manila on Monday.

Around 813,150 Pfizer doses procured by the government will also be delivered by August 9 while 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccines procured by the private sector are expected within August 9 to 15.

The Philippines will also receive on August 10, around 1 million Sinopharm vaccine doses donated by China.

In total, Roque said the country is expecting to receive more than 22 million doses for August.

The Philippines has so far received a total of 33,860,700 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from various manufacturers.

A total of 21,210,129 COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered as of August 2. Around 11.8 million individuals have received their first dose while 9.3 million have already completed their shots.

Duterte earlier made an assurance that all regions and provinces will get the vaccines they need, but in the meantime, the government will prioritize the distribution of the jabs to areas with increased number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

He also appealed for public patience as the government is facing a challenge in securing vaccine supplies.

DOTr imposes stricter protocols in transportation in areas under ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation will impose stricter health protocols in public utility vehicles (PUVs) in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said only authorized persons outside residence (APORs) as identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will be accommodated by public transport services.

The department already retained the current public transport supply and capacity of 50% for areas under ECQ.

“APORs are reminded to be ready to present to transport marshals identification cards issued by the IATF or other documents or IDs as proof that they are authorized to travel,” Tugade said.

During the ECQ, public and private vehicles shall strictly observe the prescribed physical distancing and sanitary measures at all times.

For PUVs, such as buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 50% capacity on a “one-seat-apart” setup. Standing passengers will not be allowed, and only one passenger will be allowed at the driver’s row.

For tricycles, operations will depend on the approval of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government. If operations are allowed, tricycle passenger load shall not exceed one passenger in the sidecar.

All trains of the Philippine National Railways, LRT-1, LRT-2, and the MRT-3 will have transport marshals to enforce health protocols and to identify APORs. Trains will also be disinfected after every loop. Passengers showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board trains. Temperature checks will be done at station entrances.

Marshals would be strictly enforcing the seven commandments of public transport safety at the transport stations and terminals, and inside public transport vehicles.

The 7 Commandments for Public Transport, based on the recommendations of health experts, are:

1. Wear masks and face shields;
2. No talking and making phone calls;
3. No eating;
4. Keep public utility vehicles well-ventilated;
5. Conduct frequent disinfection;
6. No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside public transportation; and
7. Observe appropriate physical distancing (“one-seat-apart”) rule

“We, therefore, remind the riding public of the importance of stringently observing the Public Transport Health Protocols, based on the recommendations of health experts, to protect and uphold the overall welfare of the passengers, and other transport stakeholders,” Tugade said. AAC


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