No state monopoly in COVID-19 vaccine procurement – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2021   •   655

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has denied claims that the national government is building any monopoly on the procurement of vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying local government units (LGU) can purchase vaccines to be administered to their constituents.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the remark after some lawmakers questioned why the national government would not allow LGUs and private firms to deal directly with drug makers.

Roque said LGUs are allowed to procure vaccines from pharmaceutical companies but this should be done through entering a tripartite agreement.

This deal should involve the national government, the local government unit and the vaccine manufacturers.

For the advance purchase of AstraZeneca vaccine, the agreement states that local government units will shoulder the cost of the vaccine and plan its distribution in alignment with the national government’s immunization program.

Roque explained that a tripartite agreement has to be forged because AstraZeneca is part of COVAX facility, a pool setup by the World Health Organization to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Only states are involved in the system.

So malinaw po, ‘no, na hindi po natin ipinagbabawal. Wala pong monopoliya ang national government sa pagbili ng mga bakuna. Sa kasunduan na kinuha po namin, at ito po iyong model contract na pinipirmahan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan kasama ang AstraZeneca, ang national government at ang Department of Health, sila ang bumibili, sila ang nagbabayad,” he said.

Roque also reiterated that local governments are not required to use their own funds to procure vaccines for their constituents.

“Gobyerno pong nasyunal ang bibili ‘no. Uulitin ko po, hindi naman kinakailangan na ang mga lokal na pamahalaan ay gumastos ng sarili nilang pondo,” he said.

“Pero kung gusto po nilang gastusin ang sarili nilang pondo, hindi po tututol ang national government dahil iyan naman po ay tulong din sa bansa – imbes na utangin eh babayaran na po,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Limitasyon sa galaw ng ‘di bakunado vs COVID-19, isinusulong ipatupad sa buong bansa

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Inirerekomenda ni testing czar at presidential adviser for COVID-19 response Vince Dizon na ipatupad sa buong bansa ang pagbabawal sa mga hindi pa bakunado laban sa COVID-19 na pumunta sa mga pampublikong lugar.

Sa gitna ito ng bumibilis na namang pagtaas ng kaso sa bansa at local transmission ng Omicron variant.

“Mr. President, nag-usap na po kami ni Secretary Año, ni Secretary Duque, Secretary Galvez, Secretary Lorenzana na we are recommending that this policy in NCR also be adopted by the entire country even in areas po na hindi pa nagsu-surge dahil alam naman po natin it is really just a matter of time na itong Omicron ay kumalat na sa buong bansa,” ang wika ni Dizon sa pagpupulong ng mga opisyal ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte noong Martes.

Ang rekomedasyon ay batay aniya sa mga ginagawang paghihigpit sa mga bansang nakararanas na ng case surge ng Omicron variant.

“Kung titingnan po natin ang ibang bansa, countries all over the world are restricting the exposure of the unvaccinated. Sa France po, they are cracking down on unvaccinated; Germany, they are locking down unvaccinated people; and even in South Korea po they are now imposing new vaccine passes  para po ano  i-restrict ‘yung movement ng mga unvaccinated,” paliwanag ni Dizon.

Nakatakdang pag-usapan ng IATF ang panukalang ito sa kanilang pagpupulong sa Huwebes.

Ang paglilimita sa galaw ng mga hindi pa bakunado kontra COVID-19 ay una nang iminungkahi ng Metro Manila Council sa pamamagitan ng isang resolusyon.

Ang naturang resolusyon ay in-adopt na rin ng Regional Task Force against COVID-19 ng CALABARZON na naghihikayat sa lahat ng local task forces sa rehiyon na magpatupad na rin ng limitasyon sa paggalaw ng mga di pa bakunado sa nasasakupang probinsya.

Sa kasalukuyan, 65.63 percent na ng target population ang fully vaccinated at 79.42 percent ang nakatanggap ng at least isang dose ng bakuna. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

 

Moderna booster shot, more effective vs COVID-19 Omicron-variant

Maris Federez   •   December 21, 2021

Biotechnology company Moderna has announced that based on its preliminary data, a half-dose booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine increases antibody levels against the Omicron variant compared to a fully vaccinated person who has not received a booster shot.

A larger dose of Moderna booster, the company said, provides a higher level of antibody.

At present, a 50-microgram dose of Moderna vaccine is being administered as a booster.

Moderna has assured that the company will fast-track the clinical testing of Omicron-specific boosters to fight the more transmissible variant.

Aside from Moderna, other vaccine makers continue to develop variant-specific booster shots. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Kath Dumaraos)

Over 1 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shots arrive in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   December 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Another batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine procured by the government arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday night.

The shipment, containing  1,082,250 vaccine doses, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at past 8 p.m.

The said vaccine supply is expected to be used in the second round of nationwide vaccination drive set from December 15 to 17.

The government aims to vaccinate up to seven million people during this period.

With the arrival of the latest shipment of vaccines, the Philippines has now received around 150 million doses of various vaccine brands since February.

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