Duterte may be injected with Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine by May 2021 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2020   •   630

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte may be inoculated with Russia-made vaccine against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in May 2021, Malacañang said on Thursday.

In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte could get Sputnik V vaccine shots as early as May 1 provided that the vaccine is already approved by the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The May 1 is when the PSG [Presidential Security Group] may allow him ‘pag natapos na po lahat ng test na kinakailangang gawin dito sa Gamaleya vaccine,” he said.

Duterte earlier said he is willing to participate in the clinical trials for Sputnik V.

Base on the timeline presented by Roque, the vaccine expert panel will review the results of phases 1 and 2 of the Sputnik V’s clinical trials this September.

The Philippines and Russia will conduct simultaneous phase 3 clinical trials which will run until March 2021. The Russian government is expected to shoulder the costs.

The vaccine will then have to go through the registration process with the FDA in April 2021.

Roque, however, stressed that the vaccine could become available in the market earlier since other organizations are also in advanced stages of conducting clinical trials.

“Baka mayroon pang ibang mauna dahil marami namang pong nasa third phase ng clinical trials at matagal na po silang nasa 3rd phase,” he said.

Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research, said that if no problems will be encountered on the efficacy of Russia-made vaccine during the trials, the Sputnik V vaccine could be rolled out for commercial use in the Philippines by April 2021.

Montoya is part of the team of Philippine health and vaccine experts who met with the manufacturer and scientists who developed the Sputnik V.

Russia on Tuesday announced it is the first country to grant regulatory approval to a vaccine after less than two months of human testing.

The announcement raised concerns from some international scientists about the safety of the vaccine.

The World Health Organization said Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine should first undergo the necessary evaluation process before it could become available for public use. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Philippine GDP declines by 4.2% in first quarter of 2021 – PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine economy shrank by more than expected in the first quarter of the year, according to government data released on Tuesday, as prolonged community quarantines due to the pandemic hamper reopening efforts.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell -4.2 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

This is the fifth consecutive quarter that the country has posted negative GDP growth due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The PSA said the main contributors to the decline were Construction (-24.2 percent), other Services, (-38.0 percent); and Real Estate and Ownership of Dwellings (-13.2 percent).

Among the major economic sectors, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AFF) declined by -1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2021. Likewise, Services and Industry contracted by -4.4 percent and -4.7 percent, respectively during the period, the PSA noted.

“On the demand side, Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) declined by -4.8 percent, along with the following items: Gross Capital Formation (GCF), -18.3 percent; Exports, -9.0 percent; and Imports, -8.3 percent,” the agency said.

The net primary income (NPI) from the rest of the world continued to decline by -75.8 percent, bringing the Gross National Income (GNI) to drop by -10.9 percent during the period, it added.

On the other hand, the PSA said that government final consumption expenditure (GFCE) grew by 16.1 percent in the first quarter of 2021.

Contributors to growth were led by financial and insurance activities (5.2 percent), public administration and defense, compulsory social activities (7.5 percent), and human health and social work activities (11.7 percent).

Other industries that managed to grow during the period were information and communication, 6.3 percent; manufacturing, 0.5 percent; and electricity, steam, water, and waste management, 1.9 percent, the PSA said.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said the aversion to risk for most of 2020 has placed the country in a long period of quarantine, and that this came at a huge cost to the economy and the people.

It, however, observed some improvements as the rate of contraction has slowed, and that the country has time to catch up with on its growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent despite the pandemic-induced quarantine restrictions.

Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, maaaring ibigay sa A1-A3 sectors – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Lahat ng mga indibidwal na nasa A1 hanggang A3 category ng COVID-19 vaccination plan ng pamahalaan ay kuwalipikadong tumanggap ng bakunang gawa ng Gamaleya Research Institute, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Sa isang online briefing, ipinaliwanag ni Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire na maaaring ibigay sa lahat ng age group ang Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine batay sa indikasyon nito.

Ang A1 ay tumutukoy sa healthcare workers, A2 ay pawing mga senior citizen, habang ang A3 naman ay mga taong may iba pang karamdaman o co-morbidity.

“Ang NITAG po kapag nagbigay ng indikasyon ang FDA through the emergency use authority, yan po ang ina-adopt natin. Hindi tayo nagbabago diyan not unless there are specific na kailangan pag-aralan based on evidence na existing,” ani Vergeire.

Noong Sabado, Mayo 1, dumating sa bansa mula sa Russia ang unang 15,000 doses ng Sputnik V vaccine. Sinasabing 91.6 percent ang efficacy ng bakunang ito.

Tig-3,000 doses ang ibinigay sa limang lungsod sa Metro Manila na kinabibilangan ng Makati, Maynila, Taguig, Parañaque at Muntinlupa.

Una nang sinabi ng DOH na ang limang nabanggit na lungsod muna ang binigyan dahil may storage facility ang mga ito para sa -18 degrees Celsius na requirement ng bakuna.

Ayon kay Vergeire, maaaring simulan ang pagbabakuna gamit ang Sputnik V vaccine sa mga susunod na araw.

Aniya, sa mga natukoy na pasilidad sa Makati Coliseum, Lakeshore Vaccination Hub sa Taguig, at Ayala Mall Manila Bay sa Parañaque isasagawa ang pagbabakuna.

Sa Sta. Ana Hospital at Ospital ng Maynila naman isasagawa ang sa Maynila, at sa Ospital ng Muntinlupa at Asian Hospital and Medical Center sa Muntinlupa.

Tiniyak rin ni Vergeire na inihahanda na ang rational na storage at distribution process sa iba pang lalawigan para sa karagdagan pang doses ng Sputnik V vaccine na inaasahang darating sa bansa ngayong buwan.

“Mayroon naman po tayong mga storage facilities na may mga ganitong kakayanan doon sa mga major regions natin na urbanized katulad ng Davao, ng Cebu, Region 4A, Region 3 and Region. Meron na ho tayong kausap na na logistical firms kung saan they have that capacity to transport these kinds of vaccines,” ang wika ng opisyal.

“We would like that we can see how are we going to manage it properly, to store it properly and to distribute it properly… Titingnan natin ang experience natin diyan at kung mayroon tayong kailangan i-improve, i-improve natin,” dagdag pa niya.

Nitong May 1, nasa 1.93 milyon na ang nabakunahan sa priority sectors sa bansa. Mahigit 284,000 rito ang nakatanggap na ng pangalawang dose. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

First batch of Sputnik V vaccines to be given to 5 Metro Manila cities — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The initial 15,000 doses of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute will be given to five cities in Metro Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

The DOH said the vaccines that arrived in the country on May 1 will be deployed to Makati, Manila, Taguig, Parañaque, and Muntinlupa on Monday afternoon.

The said cities will be the first to get the Russian-made vaccines because they have the cold storage facilities required for the vaccines, which need to be stored at -18 degrees Celsius.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the distribution of the first batch of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines will be the logistical run to prepare for the arrival of 485,000 more doses of the vaccine expected to arrive this month.

Galvez said this shipment is part of a 10-million dose agreement between the Philippine government and Gamaleya Research institute that are expected to arrive in the next four months.

The vaccine czar earlier said that the bulk of COVID-19 vaccines procured by the government from various companies is expected to arrive starting June.

The Philippines has so far received over four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including those from Sinovac Biotech and AstraZeneca under the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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