Pfizer vaccine, kayang i-neutralize ang bagong COVID-19 variant na natukoy sa Brazil

Freema Gloria   •   March 9, 2021   •   533

Kayang i-neutralize ng COVID-19 vaccine na gawa ng Pfizer-BioNTech ang bagong variant ng coronavirus o ang tinatawag na P.1 variant na lumalaganap ngayon sa bansang Brazil, ayon sa pagsusuri ng mga siyentipiko.

Batay sa isang laboratory study na inilathala ng New England Journal of Medicine, ang neutralizing ability ng nasabing bakuna sa bagong variant ng virus at sa less contagious version ng virus noong nakaraang taon ay halos pareho lamang.

Ang pangunahing target ng COVID-19 vaccine ay ang spike, na siyang ginagamit ng virus upang makapasok sa human cells.

Sa nakalipas na pagsusuri, nagawang i-neutralize ng Pfizer vaccine ang iba pang mas nakahahawang variant na unang natukoy sa United Kingdom at South Africa, bagamat maaaring bawasan ng South African variant ang protective antibodies na pinuproduce ng katawan sa tulong ng naturang bakuna.

At kahit naniniwala ang Pfizer na epektibo ang kanilang bakuna laban sa South African variant, magsasagawa pa rin ang naturang drugmaker ng ikatlong booster dose ng bakuna.

Pinag-aaralan din ng Pfizer ang paggagawa ng retooled version ng bakuna na lalaban sa South African variant upang magkaroon pa sila ng mas malalim na kaalaman sa immune response dito.

DOH: More cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Philippines

Robie de Guzman   •   May 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said it has detected more cases of covid-19 variants in the country.

This was based on the latest whole-genome sequencing report of the Philippine Genome Center and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH).

The DOH said that from the 744 samples sequenced last week, additional 289 B.1.1.7 variant cases (United Kingdom), 380 B.1.351 (South Africa) variant cases, and 9 P.3 (Philippines) variant cases were detected.

Of the new B.1.1.7 variant cases, 48 are Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs), 185 are local cases, while 56 cases are still being verified.

Based on the case line list, 3 cases remain active while 2 have died and 284 have recovered, the DOH said.

Of the 380 new B.1.351 variant cases, 107 cases are ROFs, 196 are local cases, and 77 cases are still under verification. The DOH said that based on the case line list, one case is still active and 379 cases have been tagged as recovered.

Out of the nine new P.3 variant cases, 3 are ROFs, 4 are local cases, and 2 cases are being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Based on the case line list, all 9 cases have recovered, the agency said.

“B.1.351 is the most common variant among the samples sequenced with assigned lineages, contrary to reports that it is now the dominant variant in the country,” the DOH said in a statement.

It also reiterated that the P.3 variant, which was first reported in the Philippines, is still not identified as a variant of concern since current data is insufficient to determine whether the variant will have significant public health implications.

The DOH said that a total of 7,167 samples have been sequenced so far, and out of those with assigned lineages, 18.2% tested positive for B.1.351, 16.0% had B.1.1.7, 2.7% were found with the P.3, while 0.03% had the P.1 variant.

To complement the intensified vaccination activities, the DOH calls on the public to strictly and consistently adhere to the minimum public health standards to minimize the risk of exposure and infection.

PH detects 114 more cases of COVID-19 variants

UNTV News   •   March 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday reported the detection 114 additional cases of various COVID-19 variants.

In a statement, the DOH said it has discovered 46 new cases with the B.1.1.7 variant (UK variant); 62 additional B.1.351 variant (South Africa) cases, and six more P.3 variant cases.

These new cases were among the 150 samples composed mostly of samples from National Capital Region laboratories. Information of cases with these variants are being investigated and verified.

Of the 46 UK variant cases, 36 are from the National Capital Region, two (2) are Returning Overseas Filipino (ROFs), and eight (8) cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases.  The country’s tally for the B.1.1.7 variant is now at 223.

Among 62 South African variant cases, 43 are local cases of which 41 from NCR and two (2) are from CALABARZON. The remaining 19 are being verified if they are local or ROF cases.

Of the six (6) additional P.3 variant cases, four (4) are local cases and two (2) are being verified if they are local cases or ROFs. The four (4) local cases are from NCR. All six (6) cases are currently active.

The DOH, UP-PGC, and UP-NIH emphasize that at present, the P.3 variant is still NOT identified as a variant of concern as current available data are insufficient to conclude whether the variant will have significant public health implications.

The health department urges the public not to leave their homes unless extremely necessary and to avoid the closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact settings to minimize COVID-19 transmission and avoid further mutations.

Philippines detects first case of Brazilian COVID-19 variant; more cases of UK, South Africa variants

Maris Federez   •   March 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH), the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) on Saturday confirmed the detection of the first case of Brazilian coronavirus variant or the P.1 variant.

In their joint report the DOH, UP-PGC, and UP-NIH said the P.1 variant that was detected on a Returning Overseas Filipino (ROF) from Brazil with an address in Western Visayas.  Additional information about the case is currently being investigated.

“The P.1 variant was first detected in Japan by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) among four (4) travelers from Brazil,” the report said.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is evidence to suggest that transmissibility and the ability of antibodies generated through the previous infection are affected by some mutations of this variant,” it added.

Nevertheless, the DOH reiterated that “correct and consistent adherence to the minimum public health standards will prevent the transmission of these variants.”

Meanwhile, health experts also confirmed the detection of 59 new cases of B.1.1.7 (UK) and 32 additional cases of B.1.351 (South Africa) variants and thirteen cases “with mutations of possible clinical significance (E484K and N501Y mutations)”.

The additional 59 B.1.1.7 variant cases comprised 30 local cases, 18 ROFs and 11 still being verified whether local or ROF.

This brings the total number of B.1.1.7 cases in the country to 177.

The 32 B.1.351 variant cases, on the other hand, are composed of 21 local cases, 1 ROF, and 10 still under verification.

The DOH said the country’s total number of B.1.351 cases is now 90.

These newly detected cases were among the tenth batch of 752 samples sequenced by the UP-PGC, with the majority of samples coming from NCR, CALABARZON, and CAR.

The health department also reported that “the UP-PGC previously detected 85 cases with a unique set of mutations, including both E484K and N501Y mutations.”

The report stated that upon verification with the Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak Lineages (PANGOLIN), the said samples with these mutations have been reassigned to the P.3 variant, belonging to the B.1.1.28 lineage, to which the P.1 variant also belongs.

Thirteen (13) additional cases were detected in this batch which brings the total P.3 variant cases in the country to 98.

The DOH, UP-PGC, and UP-NIH emphasized that, at present, the P.3 is NOT identified as a variant of concern as currently available data are insufficient to conclude whether the variant will have significant public health implications.

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