There is hope COVID-19 vaccine may be ready by end of 2020, WHO says

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2020   •   661

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed hope that a vaccine against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may be ready by year-end.

“We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his address at the end of a two-day meeting of the agency’s Executive Board on the pandemic.

Tedros did not offer any additional details.

He, however, called for solidarity and political commitment from world leaders to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine when it becomes available.

“We need each other, we need solidarity and we need to use all the energy we have to fight the virus,” he said.

Nine experimental vaccines in various stages of trials are in the pipeline of the WHO-led COVAX global vaccine facility that aims to distribute two billion doses by the end of 2021.

A total of 172 countries have joined WHO’s COVAX initiative, excluding the United States, China, and Russia. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mirasol Abogadil)

Over 500,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine arrive in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — More than 500,000 additional doses of US-made Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the country on Wednesday night.

The cargo plane carrying 562,770 doses of Pfizer vaccine arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu around 6:45 p.m.

Part of the shipment, amounting to 51,480 doses, will be distributed in Cebu.

The rest were brought to Manila via the same flight that landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City at 8 p.m., an hour earlier than the original schedule of 9:20 p.m.

Another 51,480 doses of Pfizer are expected to be delivered in Davao City around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, July 22.

The remaining 459,810 doses allocated for Metro Manila will be brought to the cold storage facility in Marikina City.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that a total of 562,770 Pfizer shots that were procured by the government will arrive on Wednesday night.

This is part of the 40 million Pfizer doses procured by the government from the American pharmaceutical firm.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is also expecting to receive this week more than 2 million additional Sinovac jabs. The first shipment of 1.5 million doses will arrive on July 22, and another 1 million doses on July 23.

Prior to Wednesday’s delivery, the Philippines has so far received more than 27 million vaccine shots, including brands of Sinovac, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sputnik V, and Janssen.

The Philippine government hopes to further boost its vaccination campaign when more vaccine supplies are delivered in the country.

Over 3 million doses of Pfizer, Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in PH this week

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is expecting to receive more than 3 million doses of Pfizer and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines this week, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the shipment containing about 562,770 doses of Pfizer vaccines will arrive in the country on Wednesday evening.

This is part of the 40 million Pfizer doses procured by the government from the American pharmaceutical firm.

The Philippines also expects to receive 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccines on July 22, and another 1 million doses on July 23.

Roque said the Philippines has so far received more than 27 million vaccine shots, including brands of Sinovac, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sputnik V, and Janssen.

The Philippine government hopes to further boost its vaccination campaign when more vaccine supplies are delivered to the country.

NTF to send more vaccine supply to Mindanao areas facing surge in COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – More COVID-19 vaccine doses will be deployed to parts of Mindanao that are experiencing surge in infections, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. gave the assurance during a dialogue with local officials in Cagayan de Oro City held on Monday, July 19, to discuss the health situation there.

In particular, Galvez said additional vaccine supplies will be sent to Northern Mindanao and nearby areas that reported cases of Delta COVID-19 variant.

“’Yung Region 10 magiging priority natin sa July, August and even September kaya nga nag-usap kami ni (Gingoog City) Mayor Erick [Cañosa] na kung kaya ang 2,000 [jabs] a day susuportahan namin siya,” he said.

“Ganoon din kay (Cagayan de Oro City) Mayor [Oscar Moreno] at sa lahat ng ating mga LGU kung ano ‘yung capacity natin we will support so that we can have immediate protection as soon as possible time kasi this is a race against time and we wanted na while the Delta variant is mutating, we are now vaccinating the vulnerable,” he added.

According to Dr. Joselito Retuya, a Cagayan de Oro-based epidemiologist, six Delta variant cases have been reported in Region 10, five of which are in Cagayan de Oro City and one in Gingoog City.

A shipment of 26,660 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single dose COVID-19 vaccine were delivered at the Laguindingan Airport, Misamis Oriental on Monday.

Galvez said these doses should immediately be rolled out to offer protection to the public.

The vaccine czar also reiterated the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to ensure the equitable distribution of the vaccines among the regions and provinces throughout the country.

“Ang pinaka-primary consideration natin sa pagdedeploy ng vaccines are one, ‘yung health risk, economic risk, social, at security risk. And second, geographical, if that area is potentially vulnerable considering that highly-urbanized area sya, geographically disadvantaged siya, walang hospital and then also talagang potentially siya ang tatamaan pag magkaroon ng surge, ayun ang binibigyan natin,” he said.

Aside from Region 10, the NTF also deployed a batch of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Bangsamoro region on Monday.

The Philippines has so far confirmed 35 cases of Delta variant, including three fatalities and 32 recoveries.

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