Philippine Red Cross clarifies it is not into selling vaccines

Marje Pelayo   •   May 18, 2021   •   476

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) issued a clarification regarding reports by news outlets saying the humanitarian organization would be selling  COVID-19 vaccines developed by American pharmaceutical firm Moderna to the public.

The news reports quoted PRC Chairman Senator Richard Gordon to have said that those who cannot wait for the free jabs from the government may pay the organization P3,500 for two doses of Moderna vaccine.

“To set the record straight, PRC Chairman Richard Gordon never announced that the Red Cross is selling vaccines. He stressed the need to act fast and vaccinate as many people as we can,” explained PRC governor Ma.Carissa Coscolluela.

Coscolluela noted what Gordon meant was, the PRC has procured Moderna COVID 19 vaccines and intends to vaccinate Red Cross members and donors, who are also PRC members and are willing to bear the cost of the vaccines.

The overall cost, Coscolluela said, would be US$26.83 (P1,284) per dose plus an administration fee that covers cost for syringes, gloves, PPEs, meals and allowances of PRC doctors and nurses, and other essential expenses related to the vaccination.

“The PRC is a humanitarian organization and is not in the business of selling any vaccines. It does not charge for anything that it got free,” Coscolluela stressed.

October hits biggest supply of COVID-19 vaccines — Galvez

Maris Federez   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The country has, so far, received the biggest supply of vaccines against coronavirus disease in October, having recorded 20 million vaccine doses delivered for this month alone.

“Sir, marami pong magandang balita po sa October, it’s the biggest supply delivery from Pfizer, Moderna, and COVAX, and Sputnik. As we have said earlier, almost 92 million doses already been delivered,” said NTF COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. during Monday’s Talk to the Nation of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Galvez said the country received the biggest delivery from the COVAX facility for having delivered 7.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

This is composed of 6.4 million doses of Pfizer vaccine as donations from the United States government and 844,800 from the German donation.

“The German ambassador told us that they will add more to make it 1.6 million AstraZeneca [as] donation,” Galvez added.

Another 2 million vaccine doses will be given by the US totaling approximately 18 million delivered though the COVAX facility.

The vaccine czar said that the arrival of 20 million vaccine doses this month is the biggest so far, surpassing September deliveries of 19 million doses.

“So, the achieving of 100 million doses delivery before the end of October is on track. And right now, the supply is not anymore an issue. We have more than 38 million doses in our warehouses,” he said.

The official noted the efforts contributed by the World Health Organization and the UNICEF for the significant deliveries made by the COVAX facility.

“It already accounted for 24.3 million doses and the majority of which are coming from the US donation. Total na po ng US natin ngayon 16 [million doses], plus iyong promise po na additional sa 18 [million] and other countries are expected to donate this October,” Galvez added. —/mbmf

900K more doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrive in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Around 900,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the country over the weekend.

A total of 720,000 Sputnik V doses from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute were delivered on Saturday (October 16). The latest shipment is the largest delivery so far from the Russian-based vaccine maker.

To date, the country has received a total of 1,290,000 Sputnik V doses consisting of Components I and II.

An additional 207,090 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine also arrived on Saturday.

According to National Task Force Against COVID-19 special adviser Teodoro Herbosa said a portion of the vaccines will be delivered to Cebu and Davao, while the rest will be used for pediatric vaccination which began on Friday (October 15).

“We do hope that this will help a lot in our vaccination program. The other good news is we have reached about 92 million doses delivered to the Filipino people by the different brands. I think the promise of Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of 104 million by the end of October will be fulfilled,” he said.

More COVID-19 vaccine supplies are expected to arrive in the country. The national government estimated around 140 million to 160 million doses will be delivered to the Philippines before the end of 2021. AAC

DOH, ready for pilot vaccination of minors vs COVID-19 set on Oct. 15

Maris Federez   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is all set for the pilot vaccination of children 12 to 17 years old on Friday, October 15.

The DOH said eight hospitals in Metro Manila will be used as pediatric vaccination sites, as follows:

  • Philippine Children’s Medical Center
  • National Children’s Hospital
  • Philippine Heart Center
  • Pasig City Children’s Hospital
  • Fe Del Mundo Medical Center
  • Philippine General Hospital
  • Makati Medical Center
  • Luke’s Medical Center (Taguig)

Children with comorbidity will be given priority in the vaccination drive.

The DOH said only Pfizer and Moderna anti-COVID-19 vaccines will be used in the pilot vaccination as they are the only ones that have been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for minors by the FDA.

The health department said it will be closely monitoring the vaccination that will be using Moderna vaccines following reports of adverse effects among children that have received the vaccine in several European countries.

These children were reported to have developed myocarditis or inflammation and damage of the heart muscle, resulting in shortness of breath, chest pains, decreased ability to exercise, and an irregular heartbeat.

The DOH spokesperson Usec Maria Rosario Vergeire, however, gave the assurance that such are very rare cases.

“Kapag tiningnan po natin ang ating datos, even internationally, makikita ho natin, of cases of this type of adverse reaction, iyong myocarditis is just less than 1 in a million. So ibig sabihin, it’s very rare,” Vergeire said. —/mbmf

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