NVOC assures no COVID-19 vaccines destroyed due to recent storms

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2021   •   224

MANILA, Philippines — The National Vaccinations Operations Center (NVOC) on Monday assured that no COVID-19 vaccines were affected in the onslaught of two storms, Jolina and Kiko, that barrelled through the country last week.

In a televised briefing, NVOC representative Dr. Kezia Rosario said the COVID-19 vaccine shots were transported temporarily to provincial health offices for safekeeping in areas affected by the storms.

Rosario also said that even cold chain storage facilities housing the vaccines were safe.

 “Lahat ng bakuna natin during the time of the bagyo were safe po at na-store po siya properly at hindi po tayo nagkaroon ng excursion sa temperature nito. So they are still effective and puwede pa po siyang ibigay sa mga vaccinees natin,” she said.

During the onslaught of Jolina, at least 19 municipalities in the Bicol region suspended vaccination operations while 49 areas in the Eastern Visayas region stopped the inoculation process.

At least three towns in Cagayan Valley also halted their vaccine rollouts due to Typhoon Kiko.

Rosario, however, said that the vaccination operations in the said areas have since resumed when the skies cleared.

The NVOC has yet to get an update on the vaccination rollout in Batanes that was battered by Kiko over the weekend.

“We do not have any updates pa po kung ilan iyong municipalities ng Batanes. But as of now, we know that all of the vaccines were transported doon sa provincial health offices for storage for the time being. And iyong sa Itbayat na vaccines, it was also transported sa district hospital nila for the time being,” she said.

The NVOC official assured that they have prepared response plans during calamities to ensure the safety of the vaccine supply.

“We also have rolled out ‘no and enforced iyong pag-establish ng mga vaccine security teams not only in the National Vaccine Operations Center kung hindi po sa Regional Vaccine Operations Center natin at saka sa Local Vaccine Operations Center,” she said.

“Sila po ay mag-i-ensure that bago pa man dumating ang bagyo nakahanda na po lahat ng preparations para maprotektahan natin iyong cold chain at saka ma-maintain natin iyong temperature ng mga vaccines natin. Kung kailangan sila i-transport immediately, gagawin po iyon,” she added.

Generators are also on standby in case of power interruptions that may affect cold storage facilities.

“And also, na-orient na po iyong mga vaccination teams natin that once the bagyo ay matapos na po ay ma-ensure nila that they can resume the vaccination activities immediately at saka mabigay nila iyong mga bakuna immediately,” Rosario said.

900K more doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrive in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Around 900,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the country over the weekend.

A total of 720,000 Sputnik V doses from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute were delivered on Saturday (October 16). The latest shipment is the largest delivery so far from the Russian-based vaccine maker.

To date, the country has received a total of 1,290,000 Sputnik V doses consisting of Components I and II.

An additional 207,090 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine also arrived on Saturday.

According to National Task Force Against COVID-19 special adviser Teodoro Herbosa said a portion of the vaccines will be delivered to Cebu and Davao, while the rest will be used for pediatric vaccination which began on Friday (October 15).

“We do hope that this will help a lot in our vaccination program. The other good news is we have reached about 92 million doses delivered to the Filipino people by the different brands. I think the promise of Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of 104 million by the end of October will be fulfilled,” he said.

More COVID-19 vaccine supplies are expected to arrive in the country. The national government estimated around 140 million to 160 million doses will be delivered to the Philippines before the end of 2021. AAC

PH receives over 924K more doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Another batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines has been delivered to the Philippines, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

In a statement, the NTF said the shipment containing a total of 924,300 doses arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday.

The United States government through the global alliance COVAX Facility donated these doses, the task force added.

Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, chief of staff and spokesperson of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), said the latest shipment comprises half of the 1.8 million Pfizer vaccine doses donated by the US to the Philippines.

Mayor added that these vaccines will be allocated to regions throughout the country, and will be used for the pilot inoculation of individuals aged 12 to 17 years old, which starts on October 15.

The latest shipment brings to over 20 million the total number of Pfizer doses delivered to the country, of which 12,660,570 doses came from the COVAX facility.

As of October 10, a total of 23,186,960 Filipinos have been fully vaccinated, while 26,486,522 individuals have received their first dose, the NTF said.

Pagbababakuna vs COVID-19 posibleng maging taunan gaya ng flu vaccine – eksperto

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Sa isang pag-aaral na inilathala ng peer-reviewed general medical journal na The Lancet, lumalabas na bumababa ang bisa ng mRNA vaccines gaya ng Pfizer pagkatapos ng anim na buwan.

Sa naturang pag-aaral, nakasaad na talagang nakakapagbigay ng proteksyon laban sa severe COVID-19 infection at pagka-ospital ang Pfizer vaccine ngunit may waning immunity rin ito gaya ng Coronavac na gawa ng Chinese company na Sinovac.

Mula sa 90% ay bumababa sa 75% hanggang 78% ang bisa ng Pfizer pagkalipas ng anim na buwan.

Ayon kay infectious disease expert at vaccine expert panel member Dr. Rontgene Solante, patunay lamang ito na kailangan talaga ng dagdag na dosing ang mga nabakunahan na lagpas anim na buwan, anomang brand ang COVID-19 vaccine ang kanilang natanggap.

“Meron palang degree of reduction of protection with time. Kapag tumatagal na ang bakuna mo then less na iyong proteksyon… Even without these variants, there’s really a waning immunity through time. Meaning, bumaba ang antibody natin from these vaccines kapag tumatagal na tayo na nabakunahan,” he said.

Dahil sa pag-aaral na ito, sinabi ni Solante na malaki ang posibilidad na gawing taunan ang pagbabakuna kontra COVID-19 sa hinaharap.

 “Like other infections, let’s say flu or influenza, we always had that vaccination every year to maintain our protection against influenza. So, ito ang nakikita natin ngayon na mukhang may kahawig na siya dito na we can have a yearly vaccination because of the waning immunity of this vaccine,” ani Solante.

“There’s something in this virus that takes a higher antibodies for you to be protected so you have to have a sustained antibody for you to be protected,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa ngayon aniya na wala pang booster dosing ay kailangang bilisan pa ang pagbabakuna sa mas maraming Pilipino upang maputol ang hawaan ng coronavirus disease.

“If we vaccinate everyone, we will also prevent the variants, kasi ang variants ay driven by the unvaccinated. So, we prevent the variants,” ani Solante.

“Kasama naman talaga iyan na every time may data na tayo na bumaba ang immunity natin then there will be additional doses,” dagdag pa niya.

Muli niya ring pinapayuhan ang mga bakunado na manatiling maingat at sumunod sa health protocols upang makaiwas sa posibilidad ng breakthrough infection.

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