PCP reiterates to stop public distribution of ivermectin due to possible adverse side effects

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 3, 2021   •   312

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine College of Physicians called for a stoppage of the distribution of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to the public due to possible adverse side effects.

The group strongly condemns the distribution of the said drug to the residents of Quezon City last week which was headed by Anakalusugan Partylist Representative Mike Defensor.

They said a person who takes ivermectin without proper guidance might endanger his or her health.

PCP President Dr. Mario Panaligan said studies about the safety of the drug as preventive measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are still undergoing.

Kung mayroon man po itong activity o sinasabing epekto doon sa virus like COVID-19 ito ay pinag-aaralan pa hanggang ngayon. Hindi naman sa sinasabi namin na wala namang epekto, kaya lang gusto sana naming makita kung ano ang totoong epekto nito (If ever there are activities or claims of its effects on a virus such as COVID-19, those are still being studied. We are not saying it has no effect but we want to see its real effects),” he said.

Pangalawa, mas maganda na siguraduhin na ligtas ito. Kasi iyon ang nakakabahala, lalong lalo na kung ang nangyayari kung pinamimigay na ito basta-basta (Secondly, it is better to ensure it is safe to use. Because what is alarming is when it was being indiscriminately distributed),” he added.

Ivermectin is still not available in pharmaceuticals because it is still not registered for human use. The human-grade version of the said drug is still undergoing clinical trials.

Doctors are also not allowed to prescribe the said drug. Only hospitals with compassionate special permits are allowed to import ivermectin for their patients.

Defensor and Sagip Partylist Deputy Speaker Congressman Rodante Marcoleta got the supply from a registered compound pharmaceutical.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Usec. Eric Domingo said only a pharmacist is allowed to dispense drugs for a patient and not doctors.

Ang tamang gamot po have to be dispensed properly by a pharmacist dahil may batas po tayo (Medicines have to be dispensed properly by a pharmacist, as what the law says),he said.

The PCP also warned about the drug’s adverse effects which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, facial or limb swelling. Other adverse effects include dizziness, seizure, confusion, a sudden drop of blood which would potentially require hospitalization, and liver injury.

Alalahanin natin na may mga indications ito kung kailan dapat ibigay. At tsaka kung maalala natin kung binigyan man ito ng permission para sa compassionate use hindi naman ibig sabihin na basta-basta na lang ito magagamit lalong lalo na kung nasa labas ng ospital (Let us remember that there are indications when to dispense [a medicine]. And let us remember that just because there is permission for compassionate use, it does not mean we can just give it haphazardly, especially so outside the hospital),” Pangilinan said.

Experts also advised individuals who have taken ivermectin to immediately seek medical attention if they are experiencing any adverse effects from taking the medicine. -AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

Filipinos are allowed to get vaccinated anywhere in PH — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos can get inoculated against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) anywhere in the country under the government’s “no wrong door policy” in its vaccination drive, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

 “Meron ho tayong tinatawag na no wrong door policy. Ibig sabihin, kung ikaw ay nagpunta sa Davao at ikaw ay puwede nang bakunahan, puwede ka bakunahan doon kahit hindi ka taga-Davao,” Health Undersecretary Mari Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.

“Hindi po natin sinasara ang ating mga pinto sa mga bakunahan dahil hindi ka taga doon na lugar,” she added.

The health official, however, stressed that the vaccination should be done through appointments and that walk-ins should be discouraged as this tends to result in crowding.

The DOH previously said that local government units may open separate walk-in lanes in their COVID-19 vaccination centers as walk-ins may be used as substitutes for those who are scheduled for inoculation but do no show up on a certain date.

The agency, however, said that the number of walk-ins that would be accommodated per day in jab sites should be limited.

The DOH earlier urged the public to pre-register for the vaccination and get inoculated when it’s their turn.

DOH says surge in COVID-19 cases in Visayas, Mindanao due to ‘multitude of factors’

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The rise in COVID-19 cases in the Visayas and Mindanao areas could be attributed to a “multitude of factors,” the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have noted some factors that have contributed to the spike in infections in the Visayas and Mindanao areas, including the complacency in enforcing and observing health protocols.

The DOH also observed the clustering of infections in workplaces and prisons in the said areas.

“Lagi po nating sinasabi na pag may tumataas po na kaso sa bawat lugar, we need to look at a multitude of factors because we know that there are these different factors which causes the transmission of the virus,” Vergeire said.

“Meron tayong pang-indibidwal at pang-komunidad na pagpapatupad po natin ng minimum health protocols at ‘pag tiningnan natin there are reports already coming to us from our different regional epidemiological and surveillance units na talagang mukhang nagkaroon ng complacency sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols,” she added.

Vergeire said the presence of coronavirus variants in some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao may also have contributed to the surge.

“Totoo po na meron na tayong na-detect na variants sa iba’t ibang lugar dito sa Visayas and Mindanao and these can also be drivers of the infection but let us not just rely or let us not just say that it’s just because of the variants, there are a multitude of factors,” she said.

“Kailangan po kapag tayo ay tumitingin sa response natin, it’s a continuum. So we will need to address, not just the variants, but also the other forms of response that we are having,” she added.

Data from the DOH showed that active COVID-19 cases in the Visayas stood at 13,313, and 14,426 in Mindanao as of June 20.

The DOH reiterated its call to the public to continue adhering to health protocols mandated by the government to help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.

DOH: Over 2.1 million persons in PH now fully vaccinated vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 2,153,942 people have completed their COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday.

Based on the vaccine statistics released by the government, a total of 8,407,342 doses have already been administered in the country as of June 20. Of this figure, 6,253,400 have received their first dose.

The agency said that in the A1 or first priority group, a total of 1,569,561 have received their first shot while 1,067,630 have completed 2 doses.

In the A2 or the second priority group, a total of 2,001,758 were given the first dose. On the other hand, 553,527 received their second dose.

In the A3 sector, 2,088,000 received their first jab while 524,699 were fully vaccinated.

In the A4 group, 526,896 got their first jab and 8,086 received their second dose.

Around 67,185 persons under the A5 group were given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The DOH also said that the total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the 16th week of the national vaccination reached a record high of 1,461,666 doses.

It also noted that the average daily administered doses in the last seven days were 208,809.

“The government is urging eligible populations belonging to priority groups A1 to A5 to register with their local government units, get vaccinated, and complete the required number of doses as scheduled,” the DOH said.

“Regardless of vaccination status, everyone is urged to continue practicing the minimum public health standards as you may still get infected with COVID-19 and infect other people,” it added.

The national government is eyeing to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year to attain population protection against COVID-19.


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