Pre-vaccination health screening still a requirement – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021   •   225

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said that health screening prior to vaccination remains a requirement despite recommendations from health experts to forego this process.

In an online briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire emphasized that conducting a screening prior to a patient’s vaccination is important as this will help check for symptoms related to COVID-19 or other diseases.

She said this step is especially important for the elderly and persons with co-morbidities even when they are already receiving their second dose.

“Kailangan mong screen kahit second dose kasi meron po tayong specific na circumstances na hindi natin pwedeng bigyan ng bakuna ang ating mga kababayan,” she said.

“Whether it be first or second dose, kailangan nai-screen sila,” she added.

The DOH earlier issued revised guidelines on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination and deployment program.

Under the Department Memorandum No. 2021-0175, only individuals experiencing a blood pressure (BP) of 180/120 or higher, with signs and symptoms of organ damage during the screening process, cannot be vaccinated.

“Other vaccine recipients with blood pressure not meeting definitions of hypertensive emergency may be vaccinated,” the DOH said.

The department also emphasized that medical clearance is not required for vaccination, except for individuals with autoimmune disease, HIV, cancer patients currently undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, transplant patients, those undergoing steroid treatment, and patients who are bedridden or with a poor prognosis.

The DOH also said that individuals who recently recovered from COVID-19 may be vaccinated immediately after recovery or completion of treatment for their first or second dose.

Those who were not able to receive their second dose due to medical reasons must coordinate with their respective vaccination sites for the immediate rescheduling of their vaccination.

Vergeire said that vaccinators should be reminded to take conduct health screening and to follow the vaccination guidelines.

“Sinasabi ngayon na mayroong gumagawa na hindi na nag-screen hindi po iyan tama,” she said.

Vergeire also said that there is no more need to ask vaccine recipients for informed consent when administering the second shot as this has been obtained during the first dose. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

DOH studying possibility of mixing vaccine brands – FDA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is currently looking into the possibility of mixing different brands of vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday.

FDA director general Eric Domingo said the DOH is already drafting a set of guidelines that will allow a person to receive different brands of COVID-19 vaccines for first and second dose in case of severe allergic reaction and other adverse effects.

Aaralin po ngayon yan ng Department of Health, in fact, meron naman po talagang ongoing meetings ang Department of Health on that dahil meron po talagang instances na for example naturukan ka ng bakuna ng first dose tapos nagka-severe allergy ka so hindi ka na puwede sa second dose nun at kailangang isipin ngayon yung magiging alternative,” Domingo said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“Gumagawa na ng guidelines ngayon ang DOH kung paano ‘yung interchangeability or mixing ng vaccines in case the second dose cannot be given na identical doon sa first dose,” he added.

Domingo said this after President Rodrigo Duterte said he has requested China to recall the 1,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines it donated following criticisms over his decision to receive a jab that has yet to secure an emergency use authorization from the FDA.

Duterte received his first dose of Sinopharm vaccine on Monday night.

Malacañang earlier said that the vaccine dose used on the president was covered by the compassionate special permit issued by the FDA for the Presidential Security Group.

PH logs 6,637 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ tally of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) climbed to 1,080,172 on Thursday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 6,637 additional infections.

In its 4 p.m. bulletin, the DOH said the latest figure pushed the country’s total active cases to 63,170.

Of this, 94.3 percent are mild, 1.9 percent are asymptomatic, 1.6 percent are severe and 1.2 percent are in critical condition.

The department noted that the low number of case count on Thursday was due to lower number of samples received by laboratories on Tuesday.

Ngayong 4 PM, Mayo 6, 2021, ang Department of Health ay nakapagtala ng 6,637 na karagdagang kaso ng COVID-19. Samantala…

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Thursday, May 6, 2021

The DOH also reported an increase by 6,091 in the number of recoveries, bringing the total recovered patients to 999,011.

The death toll rose to 17,991 with 191 new fatalities.

The DOH also reported in its bulletin a positivity rate of 14.7 percent out of 44,997 tests.

It said the case count reflected in the bulletin was based on tests conducted on May 4.

Only 5 travelers from India tested positive for COVID-19, DOH clarifies

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday clarified that only five, not six, travelers from India who arrived in the Philippines prior to the travel ban have tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, the DOH said the Bureau of Quarantine recorded 149 passengers with travel history to India from April 1 to 30. Of which, 129 are returning overseas Filipinos and 20 were foreign nationals.

All of these passengers were quarantined upon arrival and tested on the 6th or 7th day of their quarantine.

“Among these cases, 5 tested positive for COVID 19 through RT PCR while 137 of them tested negative. Among those who tested positive, 1 is still in isolation while the disposition of the 4 patients are being verified,” the DOH said.

“Samples from these positive cases are currently being determined if they are adequate for sequencing,” it added.

The DOH also said that the test results of the 7 other travelers are currently being verified and that it is coordinating with concerned local government units and  Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units to get further updates on the current health status of all these travelers.

The Philippine government banned travelers from India from April 29 to May 14 following reports of another variant causing a surge in COVID-19 cases there.



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