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

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 11, 2020   •   526

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)

Phl COVID-19 active cases now at 59,865 as DOH logs 7,302 new infections

Maris Federez   •   June 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday reported 7,302 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, bringing the country’s total number to 1,315,639.

The DOH said the newly recorded infections brought the country’s total active cases to 59,865. Of this number, 91.2% are mild, 4.6% are asymptomatic, 1.8% are severe, and 1.3% are in critical condition.

The total number of recoveries, on the other hand, rose to 1,232,986 after 7,701 patients recuperated from the respiratory illness.

The death toll climbed to 22,788 as 137 succumbed to the disease.

The DOH also said that final validation of reported cases showed that 15 duplicates were removed from the total case count, while 65 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were now reclassified under fatalities.

Clinical trials on COVID vax for minors ongoing; no vaccine rollout yet for children in PH — PPS

Marje Pelayo   •   June 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) confirmed that there are cases of COVID-19 among the country’s younger population.

However, no severe cases of COVID-19 among children have been recorded yet as the disease mostly affects the older age groups.

Though minors are considered low-risk, they still have to get vaccinated, according to a pediatric group.

“Kahit paano tinatamaan pa rin sila. Hindi naman natin masasabi kung sinong bata ang tatamaan at sino ang hindi. At least, protektado sila,” said Dr. Maria Karmela Kasala, spokesperson of the Philippine Pediatric Society.

Kasala said there are vaccines for minors that are under clinical trials in other countries.

“Other vaccine companies are also doing their own trials for these younger children. We have to wait for the results of those trials, at kapag nareview at na-evaluate na ng ating mga vaccine experts itong mga bagong studies sa mga kabataan. Kung nararapat sa ating (nakababatang) populasyon ay gagawan ng paraan para maipasok na sa priority vaccine rollout,” Kasala said.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently allowed the emergency use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines for minors aged 12 to 15.

Meanwhile, China has also allowed the use Sinovac’s CoronaVac on children as young as three years old.

As for the Philippines, there is no approval yet from the government to inoculate the younger population with  available COVID-19 vaccines.

“Pero wala pang polisiya kung paano natin i-ro-rollout ang mga bakuna para dito sa mga edad na ito,” Kasala said.

She added that clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines are ongoing around the world, but no results have been published yet.

“Ang ating mga bakuna, ang lahat ay naka-EUA pa sa buong mundo. In normal times, hindi pa iyan papayagang maibenta kasi kailangan ng certificate of product registration, at nakaraan sa clinical trial phase 4,” Kasala explained.

“Hindi na tayo umabot sa Phase 4 dahil nasa emergency pandemic tayo globally,” she said.

Gyms, fitness studios to reopen at 30% capacity beginning June 16

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the reopening of gyms, fitness studios, and other indoor non-contact sports venues in the  National Capital Region (NCR) Plus.

In a statement issued on Friday (June 11), the IATF announced that it has released Resolution No. 120 which allows the reopening of fitness studios, gyms, skating rinks, and racket sports courts at 30% capacity beginning June 16.

“Such venues are strongly encouraged to allow their regular members with recurring monthly subscription who opt not to avail of the services, to suspend their memberships for the duration of their limited opening,” the resolution reads.

The said establishments, however, would still need to secure safety seal certification before reopening. Minimum health standards should also be observed which includes wearing of face masks, strict physical distancing, and proper ventilation. AAC

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