Marikina City eyes expansion of COVID-19 vaccine storage facility

Marje Pelayo   •   January 15, 2021   •   408

MANILA, Philippines — Marikina City may have been hit by a massive flooding in the last quarter of 2020 but the city government assures enough funding for its COVID-19 response.

In fact, the city already has a cold chain storage facility in time for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.

The storage, which can store up to 40,000 vials of vaccines, is fully air-conditioned and equipped with state-of-the-art vaccine refrigerators.

The city government also invested on carriers that will transport the vaccines to the vaccination sites.

The vaccines will be placed inside a specially designed package with a thermometer to ensure proper temperature while in transit. Even the syringes are exact in measurement and can only be used once.

“Ito ay may lock kaya auto disable,” Marikina City’s cold chain manager Lourdeliza de Guzman explained.

According to Mayor Marcy Teodoro, they are negotiating with two companies and the tripartite procurement for the vaccine is already in progress.

They expect the vaccines to arrive in February or within the third quarter of the year.

Also, the city government is also preparing other areas where additional vaccine storages can be established.

“Ine-expand pa rin namin ito para at least makapag hold kami ng up to 100,000 vials ng vaccine. Both 2-8 degrees and sub-zero cold storage ang aming objective,” he added.

Teodoro said Marikina City is targeting to inoculate around 270,000 or about 60 percent of its population.

It has also allotted around P80M budget in addition to the vaccines that the national government will provide.

“Iyong prioritization namin primarily one, health care workers, mga social workers, iyong mga non-medical (workers) iyong mga nasa PNP natin, barangay health workers, iyong essential workers natin na katulong natin,” Teodoro said.

“Pagkatapos (mga) senior citizens, PWD, iyong mga mahihirap, iyong mga nakatira doon sa mga settlement area ng Marikina. Tapos yung mga working population namin,” he added.

Teodoro said they are planning for a mobile vaccination which will make rounds in hospitals, resettlement sites or in other areas where vaccination is needed. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

AstraZeneca vaccine arrives in PH

UNTV News   •   March 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The initial batch of COVID-19 vaccine developed by British-Swede drug maker AstraZeneca has arrived in the Philippines.

The plane carrying 487,200 doses of COVID-19 vaccines landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at past 7 p.m.

The first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines is part of the first round of allocated doses from the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.

Some 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were supposed to arrive in the country on March 1 but encountered delay allegedly due to supply problems.

The Philippines is expected to receive at least 5.6 million shots of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca via the COVAX Facility within the first quarter of 2021.

FDA still awaits Phase 3 trial report from Synopharm to determine vaccine’s efficacy on elderly

Marje Pelayo   •   March 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that the Chinese pharma Sinopharm has applied for emergency use authorization (EUA) online.

But the agency said the firm submitted only a few documents accompanying its application.

FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said Sinopharm needs to complete all necessary documents in order for the application to proceed.

With only a little information it received from the China-based company, the FDA cannot tell if the Sinopharm vaccine can be given to senior citizens including President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Hindi pa masabi sa ngayon. Wala pang binibigay na datos. Wala pa rin po kasing published Phase 3 trial results itong Sinopharm,” Domingo said.

“Until we see scientific evidence at makita kanino ginamit ang kanilang clinical trial at tsaka kanilang experience sa paggamit sa ibang mga bansa, doon pa lang makakapagbigay recommendation kanino pwede bakuna ang bakuna na ito,” he added. –MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Marikina Mayor expresses concern over low turnout of health workers on Day-2 of COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 2, 2021

Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro has expressed concern over the low turnout of healthcare workers (HCW) during the second day of the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

From the 1,500 frontline workers from the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (ARMMC) who were pre-qualified to receive the vaccine, only 130 actually got vaccinated on Tuesday (March 2) at the Marikina Sports Center.

Teodoro said several health workers changed their minds to wait for the next batch of vaccines that will arrive in the country.

He also said he was willing to get vaccinated first to boost the confidence of health workers in Marikina; however, he was declined.

Testing Czar Vince Dizon said mayors are not yet permitted to receive the COVID-19 vaccine since it will be allotted for frontline health workers.

Mababa ngayon ang reception, mababa ang tiwala. Iyong marami kapag tinatanong mo, ang sa sinasabi nila, gusto nilang magpabakuna pero gusto nilang makatiyak sa kaligtasan nito (There is low reception, low confidence. Most of them say they would want to get vaccinated if its safety is assured),” Teodoro said. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

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