MMDA staff with comorbidities, elderly get COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   April 14, 2021   •   190

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday began the vaccination against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) of its personnel who are senior citizens and with comorbidities.

MMDA chairperson Benhur Abalos said around 200 employees belonging to the A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (with comorbidities) priority groups were administered with Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine at the agency’s headquarters in Makati City.

Around 80 medical personnel of the MMDA were already vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday.

Abalos said the MMDA has a high infection rate among its personnel because they are among the frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.

“Kaya, humingi kami ng tulong sa DOH (Department of Health) para mabakunahan ang ating mga frontliners, lalong lalo na ang aming traffic enforcers, ang mga nasa field,” he said.

The agency is targeting to fully inoculate all its 8,000 employees.

Abalos himself received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. His initial dose was given last March 1.

The MMDA has so far recorded a total of 771 COVID-19 infections with 100 active ones. About eight personnel succumbed to the disease. – RRD (with details from Correspondent JP Nuñez)

MMDA to resume truck ban after NCR Plus switched to GCQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will resume the truck ban in Metro Manila beginning May 17 after quarantine classifications switched to general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

Under the agency’s existing policy, trucks are banned from traversing along major roads in Metro Manila from Monday to Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

A total truck ban is enforced along EDSA, from Magallanes Interchange in Makati City to North Avenue in Quezon City, 24 hours a day, from Monday to Sunday.

Meanwhile, trucks carrying perishable and agricultural foodstuffs are exempted from the ban. AAC

Duterte vows to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to LGUs ‘the fastest way we can’

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte told local government units (LGU) to wait for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines that recently arrived in the country.

During a televised briefing with some Cabinet members late Thursday, Duterte vowed the immediate distribution to LGUs of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses amid the “rising demand” for jabs among LGUs and concerns over the short shelf life of the vaccines.

“We will distribute the vaccines as fast as they come to our possession. So ganito yan, mapipilitan kasi ako kasi lahat naghihintay,” he said.

“Sabi nga ni ano (vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.), noon, it came in trickles. Ngayon, medyo volume-volume na, so maghintay lang kayo because these things must be distributed immediately the fastest way we can do it,” he added.

In his report, Galvez told the president that millions of COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to the country in the past few days and more are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

He also mentioned that LGUs have been asking for more vaccine supplies amid the ongoing immunization drive.

“Public acceptance ng vaccine is growing. Maraming mga LGU ang tawag nang tawag sa atin na gusto nilang mag-add ng vaccines. Ibig sabihin talagang yung mga LGUs ay kinakapos na sila ng vaccine dahil marami na pong gustong magpa-vaccine,” Galvez said.

The vaccine czar reported that for the month of May, the Philippines will receive around 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and around 10 million doses in June.

“Ang magiging inventory na po natin by the end of June is 21,829,050. So malaki na po ang magiging volume po natin by the end of June, ” he said.

Kayang-kaya na po niyan makuha yung A1, A2, A3 na priority po natin,” he added.

He, however, noted that the Philippines has a current inventory of 7,759,050 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Ito po Mr. President ang challenge natin na kailangan yung natitirang doses na nandoon sa ating inventory, yung 5,155,957 ay talagang maubos po natin ito the soonest possible time,” he said.

“Gumagawa po tayo ng tinatawag nating yung … tinitingnan po natin ang gaps kung bakit medyo mataas po ang ating inventory at gusto nating pababain ito within the next few days,” he added.

Galvez earlier assured that there will be no wastage of vaccines especially those that are nearing expiration following reports that 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine recently delivered are set to expire on June 30 while over 500,000 doses will expire in July.

Duterte called on local government units to make sure that vaccines distributed to their sites must be rolled out immediately since these have a short shelf life.

“We know that you can do it but see to it that the mechanism, yung infrastructure ninyo sa ibaba, kailangan must be able to come up with the numbers required kasi itong mga bakuna may expiry date ito,” he said.

“Kailangan pagdating sa inyo, mapatakbo na kaagad ang administrative pati local hospital so you will not waste the vaccine because we didn’t deliver it on time,” he added.

“I am just saying this because I do not want to lose the battle here thru negligence… The only problem is if you are not able to administer the vaccines on time because there is a limited period of time for their effectiveness,” he further stated.

PH gov’t eyes more than 70K vaccinations per day in June — DOH exec

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is looking to achieve over 70,000 COVID-19 vaccinations per day starting next month with the arrival of more vaccine supplies in the country, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the national government is currently vaccinating an average of 60,000 per day, which is higher than the previous average of 30,000.

She expressed confidence that reaching the 70,000 vaccinations per day is doable based on their past experience when they used AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as first doses.

“We hope we can reach 70,000 or higher. Nagkaroon po tayo ng isang—one time noong nag-issue tayo na all first doses iyong AstraZeneca, naka-100,000,” she said during a Laging Handa public briefing on Wednesday.

“So we would like to reach at least more than 70,000 per day for the next month. So next quarter po, we will have more, we will have to have 100 to 200 thousand more per day,” she added.

The health official also noted that the vaccination sites in the country should also be expanded to help achieve the target.

“Yes, because marami na tayong vaccines so kailangan para ma-meet iyong ating target jabs per day, we need to expand the existing number of vaccination sites,” Cabotaje said.

Vaccine statistics released by the DOH on Wednesday afternoon showed that as of May 11, there are 3,688 vaccination sites conducting immunization across 17 regions in the country.

A total of 2,539,693 vaccine doses have already been administered since the vaccination program was launched in March.

Around 2,025,038 people received their first dose while 514,755 individuals completed the required two doses.

A DOH data also showed that 355,242 healthcare workers have been fully vaccinated, while 1,195,381 already received their first dose.

Around 25,070 senior citizens have already received their second dose, while 466,899 got their first dose.

Also, 134,343 individuals with comorbidities have been fully vaccinated, while 353,842 got their first dose.

The inoculation of frontline personnel in essential sectors has also begun as 8,916 people already got their first dose.

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