FDA OKs clinical trial application for Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   December 29, 2020   •   1031

MANILA, Philippines – The application for clinical trial of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine has been approved, the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Tuesday.

“We already approved one. Ito po ‘yung clinical trial ng Janssen. This has been given the go signal by the FDA,” FDA director general Eric Domingo said during a virtual forum with the Department of Health.

“Baka they will start the clinical trial after ng New Year,” he added.

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was developed by Johnson & Johnson.

Domingo said the applications of two other vaccine developers are being evaluated by the FDA – Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Sinovac, which are both from China.

The FDA earlier expressed hopes to issue an emergency use authorization by January for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

LGUs start Janssen vaccine rollout

Maris Federez   •   July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR) on Wednesday (July 21) started using Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccines in their inoculation rollout.

Target recipients for the rollout using the vaccine doses are those belonging to categories 2 and 3 priority groups or the senior citizens and persons with comorbidity.

Local government executives said the use of the American-made single-dose vaccine will be a big help in hiking up the number of fully vaccinated individuals.

The City of San Juan was allocated with 2,800 doses of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine which do not require extremely low temperature in handling and storing.

Mayor Francis Zamora said 600 senior citizens and persons with disabilities were serviced by the local government using Janssen vaccine.

“Hindi po kumplikado ang handling. Once you bring it out you have six hours to vaccinate it. Each vial has five doses. Very simple ang handling niya. Very convenient sapagkat kahit yung mga vaccinator natin imbis na dalawang beses babakunahan yung mga mamamayan namin isang beses na lang. It makes life easier for everyone,” he said.

Caloocan City has also started its vaccination rollout using Janssen vaccine.

The city received 10,300 doses of the vaccine which will be distributed in the barangays.

However, due to the inclement weather, only a few availed of the vaccination services.

Michelle Timple, nurse-in-charge in one of the city’s barangays, also said that a large number of senior citizens has already been inoculated in past rollouts.

“Ever since naman madami-dami na rin kami nabigyan na senior since noong Astra. Sinovac, marami na rin po kaya siguro yung ngayon talaga, siguro yung huli nang magdesisyon, siguro mas anuhin na nila lalo na one dose,” she said.

Dr. Joyce Sollivan, the vaccination site’s assigned physician underscored the advantage of using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“Advantage talaga ito sa mga senior citizen kasi, unang-una, single shot lang siya. Hindi na sila mahihirapan na pupunta rito para pipila ulit. At syempre pag nabigyan sila ng bakuna malaki talaga ang porsiyento na maprotektahan sila against sa COVID-19 virus,” said Sollivan.

Aside from Metro Manila, the government has also allocated and distributed the Janssen vaccine supply in  different parts of the country, such as Lapu-Lapu in Cebu, Panay Province, Cagayan De Oro City, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). —/mbmf (from the report of Correspondent Marvin Calas)

First batch of J&J COVID-19 vaccine shots arrives in Bangsamoro region – NTF

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2021

The first batch of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine doses have been deployed to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

In a statement, the task force said a total of 30,000 doses of the single-shot vaccine arrived in Tawi-Tawi on Monday and will be rolled out in the municipalities of Sitangkai, Turtles Island, and Mapun Island.

Another 30,000 shots have also been shipped to the province of Basilan.

These Janssen vaccine doses are part of the 3.2 million shots donated by the United States government through the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX facility. The jabs arrived in the country last week.

According to BARMM Health Minister Basharay Latiph, the rollout of the Janssen vaccine will begin after the Eid-al Adha.

The vaccines will be distributed to the island-provinces beginning Wednesday, July 21, and that vaccinators from the BARMM Ministry of Health will also be sent to the areas to administer the shots, he added.

In coordination with the Western Mindanao Command, the NTF said that at least 40,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine allocated for Sulu will be deployed on Tuesday, July 20 through a military aircraft.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr said that out of the 10 million doses of anti-COVID 19 vaccines received by the national government this month, more than 300,000 doses have been allocated to the BARMM.

The shipment is composed of 150,000 Janssen vaccines, 19,500 COVAX-donated Astrazeneca vaccines, and 130,992 Sinovac vaccines.

“Our commitment to COVAX and the US government is that the vaccine supply, particularly Johnson & Johnson will be deployed equitably to all regions. The first deployment in BARMM is particularly intended for geographically-isolated islands and those communities living in our borders and along the boundaries of the Philippines,” said Galvez.

“Priority should really be given in these areas. Our development partners like UNICEF, who have seen first-hand the difficult situation in BARMM, have also given the same recommendation. And we are happy to share the same views and approaches on how these vaccines should be deployed,” he added.

As part of the COVAX-donated supply, the Janssen vaccines are to be used to inoculate priority groups who are highly vulnerable to the disease, as identified by the WHO.

In particular, the vaccines will be administered to healthcare workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with comorbidities (A3).

Galvez said additional vaccine doses will be shipped to the BARMM in the coming weeks.

The NTF said that over 113,000 jabs have already been administered in BARMM. Around 80,478 residents received their first dose while 33,085 individuals have been fully vaccinated.

BOC clears 5.89M Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Astrazeneca vaccines

Maris Federez   •   July 17, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of NAIA has cleared 5,891,650 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines which arrived in different batches from July 16 to 17, 2021, a customs advisory released on Saturday said.

The cleared vaccines include 3.24 million Johnson and Johnson doses in 2 batches, 1.5 million Sinovac doses, and 1.15 million AstraZeneca doses in 2 batches.

The advisory said a total of 2,757,400 vaccines arrived on Friday at the NAIA Terminal 3 at around 2:30 p.m. This comprised the 1st batch of Johnson and Johnson with 1,606,600 doses and AstraZeneca with 1,150,800 doses.

On Saturday (July 17), a total of 3,134,250 vaccines also arrived at Terminal 3, comprising of the 2nd batch of J&J with 1,634,250 doses and Sinovac with 1.5M doses.

“The shipments were pre-cleared on July 15, 2021, at the BOC-NAIA COVID-19 One-Stop-Shop upon submission by the Department of Health of all pertinent documents as the consignee,” the statement said.

The BOC has, so far, cleared six vaccine brands which include Sinovac from China, AstraZeneca from the UK, Sputnik V from Russia’s Gamaleya, Pfizer and Moderna from the US, and Johnson and Johnson from Europe.

As of this posting, over 27 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been cleared and released by the customs bureau since February 2021.

“Of which, 14.5 million are Sinovac, 6.8 million are AstraZeneca, 350,000 are Sputnik V, 2.48 million are Pfizer, 500,000 are Moderna, and 3.24 million are Johnson & Johnson brands,” the BOC said. —/mbmf


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