Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, maaaring ibigay sa A1-A3 sectors – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2021   •   228

MANILA, Philippines – Lahat ng mga indibidwal na nasa A1 hanggang A3 category ng COVID-19 vaccination plan ng pamahalaan ay kuwalipikadong tumanggap ng bakunang gawa ng Gamaleya Research Institute, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Sa isang online briefing, ipinaliwanag ni Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire na maaaring ibigay sa lahat ng age group ang Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine batay sa indikasyon nito.

Ang A1 ay tumutukoy sa healthcare workers, A2 ay pawing mga senior citizen, habang ang A3 naman ay mga taong may iba pang karamdaman o co-morbidity.

“Ang NITAG po kapag nagbigay ng indikasyon ang FDA through the emergency use authority, yan po ang ina-adopt natin. Hindi tayo nagbabago diyan not unless there are specific na kailangan pag-aralan based on evidence na existing,” ani Vergeire.

Noong Sabado, Mayo 1, dumating sa bansa mula sa Russia ang unang 15,000 doses ng Sputnik V vaccine. Sinasabing 91.6 percent ang efficacy ng bakunang ito.

Tig-3,000 doses ang ibinigay sa limang lungsod sa Metro Manila na kinabibilangan ng Makati, Maynila, Taguig, Parañaque at Muntinlupa.

Una nang sinabi ng DOH na ang limang nabanggit na lungsod muna ang binigyan dahil may storage facility ang mga ito para sa -18 degrees Celsius na requirement ng bakuna.

Ayon kay Vergeire, maaaring simulan ang pagbabakuna gamit ang Sputnik V vaccine sa mga susunod na araw.

Aniya, sa mga natukoy na pasilidad sa Makati Coliseum, Lakeshore Vaccination Hub sa Taguig, at Ayala Mall Manila Bay sa Parañaque isasagawa ang pagbabakuna.

Sa Sta. Ana Hospital at Ospital ng Maynila naman isasagawa ang sa Maynila, at sa Ospital ng Muntinlupa at Asian Hospital and Medical Center sa Muntinlupa.

Tiniyak rin ni Vergeire na inihahanda na ang rational na storage at distribution process sa iba pang lalawigan para sa karagdagan pang doses ng Sputnik V vaccine na inaasahang darating sa bansa ngayong buwan.

“Mayroon naman po tayong mga storage facilities na may mga ganitong kakayanan doon sa mga major regions natin na urbanized katulad ng Davao, ng Cebu, Region 4A, Region 3 and Region. Meron na ho tayong kausap na na logistical firms kung saan they have that capacity to transport these kinds of vaccines,” ang wika ng opisyal.

“We would like that we can see how are we going to manage it properly, to store it properly and to distribute it properly… Titingnan natin ang experience natin diyan at kung mayroon tayong kailangan i-improve, i-improve natin,” dagdag pa niya.

Nitong May 1, nasa 1.93 milyon na ang nabakunahan sa priority sectors sa bansa. Mahigit 284,000 rito ang nakatanggap na ng pangalawang dose. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Over 10 million individuals in PH now fully vaccinated vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The number of individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country has reached more than 10 million, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Thursday.

“Ngayon po we have breached a very important milestone in our national vaccination program,” Roque said during a ceremonial vaccination held in Mandaluyong to celebrate the achievement.

“Kung dati po nagkukumahog kung saan kukuha ng bakuna, ngayon po meron ng 10 milyong Pilipino na mayroon ng full proteksyon mula sa kalaban nating COVID-19,” he added.

As of August 4, a total of 22,488,705 jabs have been administered nationwide, of which 12,206,555 were administered as first dose, while 10,282,152 were given as second dose.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier announced that the country recorded the highest single-day vaccination output at 702,013 on August 3, surpassing the government’s goal of administering 500,000 doses daily.

Meanwhile, NTF Deputy Chief Implementer and testing czar Secretary Vivencio Dizon noted that the country had also set another record in its vaccine program on August 3.

The Philippines aims to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year to attain population protection against COVID-19.

Philippines hits 702K COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in one day — Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has recorded its highest single-day output since the vaccination drive against COVID-19 started in March, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

In a statement, Galvez said the country has administered a total of 702,013 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on August 3.

This means that the country has surpassed its goal of administering 500,000 doses daily.

Out of the 702,013 doses, 233,065 shots were administered as the first dose, while 468,948 doses were administered as the second dose, based on data from the National Vaccine Operations Center (NVOC).

Galvez assured that the government will continue to implement the “focus and expand” strategy in its deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, as the country’s vaccine supply remains insufficient for all local government units nationwide.

While vaccine supplies from different manufacturers and sources continue to arrive in bulk, the country’s vaccine inventory is still not enough to inoculate the target population of 70.8 million Filipinos, he added.

“In order to meet the monthly demand and increase the capacities of all regions, provinces, and districts, the Philippines needs at least 25 million doses monthly,” said Galvez.

In July, the country received 16.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the biggest shipment made in a single month since the start of the vaccine rollout in March.

Galvez stressed that the prioritization of areas, as well as the implementation of a phased vaccination program, is necessary to ensure the immediate protection of the nation’s highly vulnerable sectors, particularly the A1 (healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities) groups.

Under the phased vaccination program, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 will determine the vaccine allocation per region or province based on the following:

  • The master lists of eligible population submitted by a local government unit
  • The health, economic, social, and security risk of a locality
  • The population density of an area
  • The capacity of an LGU to receive and administer the vaccines
  • The availability of vaccine supplies in the national inventory

“We conducted a risk assessment for our vaccine allocation. Our focus on deployment are areas in the NCR+10 and those with confirmed cases of the Delta variant,” he said.

Galvez likewise acknowledged that the government faces challenges in the vaccination of the A2 group, particularly those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

“This is the reason why we allocated the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines to these areas to increase the vaccination output and thankfully we are seeing progress,” he said.

Galvez said that the NTF and the NVOC will also give provinces the flexibility to determine the allocation for their respective cities and municipalities through their Regional Vaccination Operations Center.

“The allocation lists are being deliberated by NVOC and these are submitted to me and Secretary Vince [Dizon] for evaluation to ensure that the distribution will be based on the master list of priority sectors A1 to A3 since kulang na kulang pa ang supply,” he said.

“Our focus now is to ensure that we will have more vaccines this month and in the months ahead,” he added.

Metro Manila hospitals report increase in COVID-19 admissions; most cases are unvaccinated

Marje Pelayo   •   August 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The number of admitted COVID-19 patients in some major hospitals in Metro Manila this week has doubled— even tripled — compared to previous weeks.

The COVID-19 ward at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), is currently fully occupied with 131 patients. Inside the emergency room, more coronavirus cases await admission.

The hospital management said they are likely to establish modular tents if numbers continue to rise.

“Malaki na ito, malaki na because we are worried na mapupuno na naman ang aming emergency room at saka sa room sa itaas that we may have to limit admission sa mga renal patient lamang na may COVID, kidney patient na may COVID kasi wala kaming paglalagyan na,” said NKTI executive director Dr. Rosemarie Liquete.

Meanwhile, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has 154 admitted COVID patients, almost reaching its full bed capacity of 225.

Hospital administrators have noted that most of the recent COVID-19 admissions are unvaccinated patients.

“Iyon pong mga nasa ospital po sa PGH ngayon 85% po ay unvaccinated at lahat ng nasa ICU ay unvaccinated. Kaya ibig sabihin ay talaga kung hindi ka bakunado mas malamang severe ang mararanasan mo na COVID,” said PGH spokesperson Dr. Jose Jonas Del Rosario.

At Tala Hospital in Caloocan City, the number of cases tripled from 54 last week to 165 this week.

The hospital announced that admission of non-COVID-19 patients is only until Friday (August 6) because on Monday (August 9), they are converting other rooms into COVID-19 wards.

In these three hospitals, a number of healthcare workers still contracted COVID-19 but in lower numbers than before  and their symptoms are milder than those previously infected.

Hospital administrators attribute this to the fact that their healthcare workers have received COVID-19 vaccine.

Based on the contact tracing conducted among healthcare workers in Tala Hospital, infected personnel appear to have contracted the virus outside their workplaces.

“Alam mo na kung ano ginagawa sa labas. Magpa-party, pupunta ng palengke, mga family gatherings, yun ang most common na mga reasons on why maraming mga healthcare workers ang nahawa ng COVID-19,” noted Dr Alfonso Victorino Famaran, medical chief of Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium (Tala Hospital).

Meanwhile, private hospitals say their bed capacity has yet to reach critical level, though similar to government hospitals, the number of COVID-19 patients coming into their care has also increased.

“Hindi pa naman karamihan yung critical yung occupancy rate. Medyo ang karamihan ngayon ay nandoon pa tayo sa mga high risk. Ibig sabihin less than 80% pa lang ang occupancy ng ibang mga ospital,” Dr. Jose Rene de Grano, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. said.

If they decide to increase their bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, they will need additional nurses to cover the job.

Hospital managements are appealing to the public to cooperate with the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to help curb virus transmission.  MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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