WHO vaccine trial staff, participants allowed to leave homes – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021   •   222

MANILA, Philippines – Participants in the Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 vaccines led by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be allowed to leave their homes as they are now considered as healthcare workers, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the new policy include researchers, workers, members, and affiliate staff of the Solidarity Trial Vaccines Team.

“Pinayagan silang mag-interzonal at intrazonal movement regardless of community quarantine classifications and impositions of granular lockdowns,” Roque said during a televised briefing.

The trial’s target participants and eligible patients who reside in areas under granular lockdowns will also be allowed to leave their residences “strictly for purposes necessary for the clinical trial.”

However, they are not allowed to leave the area under granular lockdown, he added.

Roque said the policy was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force during its meeting on Thursday.

IATF approves Comelec’s voting simulation in San Juan City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the voting simulation of Commission on Elections in San Juan City.

The IATF-EID released Resolution No. 144, dated on October 14. Under the said resolution, participants of the voting simulation are exempted from any travel restrictions and shall not be required to show proof of vaccination status and/or be required to undergo COVID-19 testing.

“The IATF recognizes that voting simulation exercises are essential activities and as such, poses no objection to the request of the Commission on Election,” the resolution read.

The simulation, which will be conducted on October 23, aims to determine which policies need to be amended to prevent issues that may occur on election day. AAC



WHO backs 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shot for elderlies, immunocompromised

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday expressed support to proposals seeking to administer a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised people who were not able to develop full immunity after receiving two doses.

WHO representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said they are advocating for a third dose for immunocompromised individuals as an extended primary vaccination course.

Senior citizens who also received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine made either by Sinovac or Sinopharm should also be given a third shot of the same vaccine brand.

“Our recommendation is that in addition to immunocompromised individuals, that we include all individuals who have received primary vaccination of two doses with Sinovac or Sinopharm to receive a third dose provided it’s more than 3 months since the completion of their first 2 doses,” he said.

“We don’t have a recommendation for general population,” he added.

The Philippine government has yet to decide on the issue of giving a booster shot but it earlier said it has allocated a budget for its procurement next year.

WHO supports downgrading of NCR COVID-19 curbs

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday expressed support to the Philippine government’s decision to ease restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“With high vaccination rate in Metro Manila, we believe that we need to adjust and calibrate the restrictions,” said WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe.

“We support the granular lockdowns, we support the easing of restrictions,” he added.

From COVID-19 Alert Level 4, the capital region will shift to Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31 amid decreasing infection rate.

Under level 3, businesses will be allowed to operate at a higher capacity.

The alert level system, which was first tested in mid-September, is being implemented in the region with granular lockdowns in areas with a high transmission rate.

Abeyasinghe said easing COVID-19 curbs will spur economic activities but he called on local governments to ensure that access to testing is maintained.

He also urged the public to follow health protocols, even those who are already fully vaccinated, and to immediately go on quarantine if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)


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