Two potential vaccines to undergo final evaluation for clinical trial — DOH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 11, 2020   •   386

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has reported two potential COVID-19 vaccines will undergo the final evaluation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said Janssen Pharmaceuticals, under multinational giant Johnson & Johnson, and Chinese company Clover Biopharmaceuticals already passed the pre-evaluation of the DOH’s vaccine experts panel (VEP) and ethics review board.

“You need both approvals from the vaccine experts panel (VEP) and the ethics review board in order for that specific vaccine to go through the process of the FDA. Janssen and Clover, they will go through the FDA process already and we will wait for the information to be given to us by the FDA,” she said.

Meanwhile, another Chinese company, Sinovac already passed the VEP’s evaluation while British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca was cleared by the ethics review board.

FDA Director-General Dr. Eric Domingo said they will carefully evaluate the results of the clinical trials to assure that the recipients of the vaccines will not experience any side effects.

Magagamit natin ito as batayan sa approval or disapproval, or if approve para makapag-set tayo conditions or warnings (We can use this as bases for approval or disapproval, or if [the vaccine] is already approved, we can set conditions or warnings [for allergic reactions], he said.

Vergeire further said that they will also check the health history of the vaccine recipients to prevent any reaction from the vaccine.

“That’s why if you would notice, if you are going to be given a medicine or a vaccine, doctors would always ask you if you are allergic to something like food or if you have taken drugs before na naging allergic kayo kasi nga (which made you allergic is because) it’s a common side effect of any technology that is given to our body,” she said.

The FDA is positive that the COVID-19 vaccine will roll out by January 2021. —AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

San Juan Mayor Zamora contracts COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora confirmed on Monday that he has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a Facebook post, Zamora said he is currently under quarantine at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

“I would like to announce that I have tested positive with COVID-19. My results came out today after a routine swab test yesterday evening, February 28, 2021. A confirmatory test was done today and the results turned out to be positive,” he said.

“I have decided to quarantine myself in Cardinal Santos Medical Center to ensure that I do not transmit the virus to anyone else in the community and to protect everyone around me including my children and my wife who is a cancer survivor,” he added.

I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am asymptomatic and in good physical condition. I have decided to quarantine…

Posted by Mayor Francis Zamora on Monday, March 1, 2021

He advised those who came in contact with him in the past few days to have themselves tested for the virus and coordinate with the City Health Office for the conduct of free RT-PCR test.

Arrival of Astrazeneca vaccine in PH delayed due to supply shortage

Marje Pelayo   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The country was supposed to receive the second delivery of COVID-19 vaccine on Monday (March 1), this time from Europe’s AstraZeneca.

But due to shortage in global supplies, the supposed shipment of 525,000 doses of COVID-19 from the British–Swedish multinational pharmaceutical firm has been deferred.

“We have to understand that. Nakita natin ang AstraZeneca at lahat ng ibang vaccines, pinag-aagawan po yan sa Europe at sa area ng mga nakita nating developing countries,” explained vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

“Naintindihan naman namin. Makapaghihintay naman po tayo,” he added.

The said supply is provided through the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Meron lang balita kasi na hindi matutuloy dahil nga ang sabi ng WHO, nagkakaproblema sila sa supply. So, maaantala daw ng isang linggo,” added Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Meanwhile, the national government is again appealing to medical frontliners and the general public to get vaccinated and accept the available vaccines from China as they also promise protection against COVID-19 just like any other vaccine.

“Para sa ating mga healthcare workers, sana po ito ay inyong tanggapin,” Duque said.

“One hundred percent po ang efficacy rate nito sa pag-iwas sa severe COVID-19 infection at iyan po ang ating hangarin na maiwasan—ang moderate to severe COVID-19 infection,” he added. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to consider nationwide MGCQ if vaccine supply is enough

Marje Pelayo   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is considering the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 to further ease quarantine restrictions in the country particularly in Metro Manila.

“I am considering it. Our economy is really down, as in down so the earlier na mabilisan itong vaccine, the better,” he said.

However, he wants to make sure first that there is enough supply of COVID-19 vaccines not only in Metro Manila but in all provinces before he allows the full reopening of the country’s economy to prevent further decline.

“If the vaccine is available to anybody for one reason or another, sa mga probinsiya na-distribute na ‘yan kasi hindi naman mag-abot ng 110 million. Sa estimate nila it’s about 40 million. Kung maka-hit tayo ng 40 million o nandiyan na ‘yong vaccine, maski mag — mayroon tayong mga 20, 30 (million) bubuksan ko na.” the President said.

President Duterte acknowledges the people’s need to work to be able to eat and survive and this will only be sustained by reopening the economy and also to allow business to regrow.

Over the weekend, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the National Capital Region and some other areas will remain under general community quarantine on March 1.

The rest of the country will remain under modified general community quarantine.

Recommendations placing NCR under MGCQ were also raised, however, the President responded that without vaccine rollout, no MGCQ will be declared.

On Sunday (February 28), China’s donation of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine has arrived in the country and the government is expected to begin vaccine rollout on Monday (March 1). MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

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