DOH: NCR Plus to get most of newly-delivered AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses

Robie de Guzman   •   May 10, 2021   •   212

MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna – collectively called NCR Plus – will get the highest allocation of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that were delivered to the country over the weekend.

In an online briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said a quarter of the additional two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines will be distributed in Metro Manila followed by areas in the Central Luzon and Calabarzon regions.

“Nasa NCR Plus bubble po yung pinakamataas na alokasyon dahil alam naman po natin yung focus natin so we can be able to have herd containment here in this epicenter of this disease,” she said.

The health official said the allocations have been prepared and the vaccines will be distributed starting Monday.

“Nagawa na yung allocation list and ready to deploy na tayo starting today,” she said.

Other regions will also receive AstraZeneca vaccines but Vergeire did not specify the allocation breakdown.

The additional doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX Facility arrived in the country on Saturday.

The fresh vaccine supply was delivered after Philippine health authorities announced last Friday the official resumption of AstraZeneca vaccine administration for eligible populations.

The DOH previously suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines following the recommendation of the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to temporarily halt its use on persons below 60 years old after reports of “very rare” cases of Vaccine-Induced Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia (VIIT).

VITT is a very rare condition of blood clots associated with low platelet counts that can occur 4 to 28 days after receiving a viral vector vaccine such as AstraZeneca, the DOH said.

“After discussions with the DOH All Experts Group and the Philippine College of Hematology and Transfusion Medicine (PCHTM), it was concluded that there are currently no known risk factors for VITT and that the benefits of receiving the vaccine against COVID-19 still outweighs the risk,” the department said in an earlier statement.

The DOH, however, said that specific guidelines and measures will still be enforced to mitigate the risks of vaccination.

Healthcare workers (HCWs) in vaccination sites will also be trained to detect and manage possible symptoms of VITT and refer them accordingly to the appropriate health facility for definitive workup and management.

Philippines’ Covid tally up by 6,959

Marje Pelayo   •   June 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) logged an additional 6,959 new cases to the country’s Covid-19 count and raising the tally to  1,353,220 on Saturday (June 19).

The latest figure pushes the total number of active cases to 59,439.

Meanwhile, 9,407 individuals have recovered from the virus. This brings the total number of recoveries since the pandemic began to 1,270, 243.

The coronavirus-related deaths also rose to  23,538 with  153 new fatalities.

The DOH noted that the current active cases is only 4.4% of the total positive cases recorded since the pandemic.

Based on the latest report, all DOH laboratories are fully operational since June 17, 2021 and only six laboratories have not yet forwarded their respective data to the agency’s COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS).

These six laboratories comprise about 3.5% of the overall samples tested and 3.9% of the total number of COVID positive individuals.

PH to receive P505M worth of COVID-19 vaccine donation from Australia

Marje Pelayo   •   June 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Australian government is donating 13.72 million AUD or P505 million worth of coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines.

The vaccines will be purchased in coordination with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said Australian Ambassador to Manila Steven Robinson on Thursday (June 17).

“This will make an important contribution to meeting the country’s vaccine needs in 2021. The Philippines will receive additional procurement and end-to-end distribution support to meet its needs under Australia’s new agreement with UNICEF to purchase safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the Philippines,” he said.

The vaccines are expected to be delivered within the year.

Aside from the anticipated donations, Robinson said Canberra has also provided Manila at least 7.52 million Australian dollars or around P277 million to boost its vaccine rollout through Australia’s Vaccine Response Plan.

Australia is the Philippines’ fourth donor country following other sponsors such as China, the United States, and Japan.

Ilang opisyal umaasang itutuloy ng susunod na administrasyon ang infra projects ng Duterte gov’t

Robie de Guzman   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Isina-isa ngayong Biyernes ng ilang ahensiya ng pamahalaan ang mga infrastructure project na napasimulan at natapos na ng administrasyong Duterte.

Sa presentasyon ng Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation (DOTr), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Flagship Programs and Projects and Bases and Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), ipinakita ang mga proyektong nakumpleto na sa ilalim ng “Build, Build, Build” program ng pamahalaan.

Pangunahin dito ang pagpapaganda sa Ninoy Aquino International Airport, na ayon kay Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, ay hindi na umano maaaring bansagan ngayong worst airport gaya ng mga nakalipas na panahon.

“Naalala’t naalala ninyo na noong pumasok ang Duterte administration ang bansag sa NAIA international airport is one of the worst international airport in the world,” ani Tugade.

“Mataas ang kaniyang klasipikasyon ngayon, nabibilang ang NAIA sa one of the most improved airport in the world,” dagdag pa niya.

Iniulat naman ng DPWH na aabot na sa 212 airport projects ang natapos sa ilalim ng administrasyong Duterte. Bukod pa ito sa 446 seaport projects, 10,376 flood mitigation structures, 26,493 kilometrong farm-to-market roads, at 5,555 na kilometro ng mga tulay.

Ayon kay DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, ang mga proyektong ito ay nakapabigay ng 6.5 milyong trabaho para sa mga manggagawang Pilipino sa nakalipas na limang taon.

“Nung nagsimula ang Duterte administration at ang Build Build Build Program nung 2016 to 2020 ang total acomplishment ay 2.536 Billion, halos x3 po ang acomplishment ng Duterte Administration, so masasabi ko po talaga na malayo po ang acomplishment sa term ni President duterte sa imprastraktura,” ani Villar.

At ngayong malapit nang matapos ang panunungkulan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, hiling ng mga miyembro ng kanyang gabinete na sana’y mapag-ibayo pa ang mga proyektong napasimulan at maiiwan upang mapakinabangan ng sambayanan.

“Hinihiling po namin kung sino man po ang magiging susunod na pangulo at susunod na administrasyon, I think it is incumbent upon the next administration to not only continue but to even fast track all the good works that have been done under the leadership of President Duterte,” ani Vince Dizon, ang pinuno ng BCDA. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

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