Philippines receives 1.1M doses of AstraZeneca vax from Japan

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2021   •   551

MANILA, Philippines — No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself welcomed the arrival of 1,124,100 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the Japanese government on Thursday evening (July 8) at the Villamor Airbase.

According to a post by the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, the donated vaccines will be used for Filipinos belonging to priority groups A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5.

The vaccine donations are part of Japan’s assistance to its neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on top of its contribution to the COVAX facility.

Meanwhile, the NTF said an additional two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the facility COVAX will be arriving on Friday (July 9).

Among those who joined the President in welcoming the vaccine shipment were Senator Bong Go, Minister Nakata Masahiro of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, NTF COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., Health Secretary Francisco Duque, and NTF deputy chief implementer Secretary Vince Dizon.

The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, lauded the strong partnership between the Philippines and Japan in ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The vaccine doses shared will help fill in the urgent supply needed to vaccinate and protect soonest the most vulnerable in the country,” WHO country representative to the Philippines Rabindra Abesayinghe said.

Likewise, the WHO official encourages “local governments to make the best use of available vaccines by prioritizing those at highest risk, especially the elderly. We must also #DoItAll – vaccinate, and continue practicing other preventive measures.”

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DOST to start clinical trial for mix-and-match COVID-19 vax

Maris Federez   •   November 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to start the clinical trial for mix and match COVID-19 vaccines.

The trial will be conducted in the cities of Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Dasmarinas, and Davao.

The DOST said it is awaiting the final approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct the trial.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Guevara said the agency is currently holding training and virtual site initiation visits in areas where the clinical study will take place.

“Sa kasalukuyan, hindi pa tayo nagre-recruit dahil inaantay namin ang final approval ng FDA bago tayo magsimula ng pagbabakuna. Ngunit ang project team ay handa na po,” Guevara said.

The DOST are looking for unvaccinated individuals aged 18 and above to participate in the trial.

Pregnant women and those who have contracted the disease can no longer join the study.

Those with comorbidities may join the trial as long as they are able to seek clearance from the doctors that they are medically stable.

The participants in the trial will be divided into three groups with the first group to be vaccinated with Sinovac vaccines for the first and second dose.

The second group will be injected with Sinovac for the first dose and other brands such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Sputnik V for the second dose.

The third dose, on the other hand, will receive Sinovac for their first and second dose, and another brand as a booster shot.

“Iyong isang grupo na pag-aaral ay bibigyan ng Sinovac at Sinovac lang. Tapos iyong pangalawang grupo naman, marami sila bibigyan ng Sinovac bilang first dose, tapos 250 bibigyan ng Pfizer-Biontech, Moderna, AztraZeneca, o Sputnik V bilang second dose. Iyong pangatlong grupo naman ang mayroon third dose o booster. Sinvoac ang ibibigay na una at second dose tapos Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca o Sputnik V ang gagamitin na third dose,” Guevara said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

Nearly 800K more AstraZeneca vaccine doses arrive in Philippines

Robie de Guzman   •   November 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Another shipment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses arrived in the country on Tuesday.

The shipment, containing a total of 793,900 doses, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 around 4 p.m.

The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19  said the latest batch of AstraZeneca vaccine shots were donated by Germany through the global initiative COVAX Facility.

The country has received more than 110 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccine brands since deliveries started in February this year.

As of November 8, a total of 64,947,366 total vaccine doses have been administered nationwide.

Nearly 30 million individuals in the country are already fully vaccinated or 38.64 percent of the more than 70 million target population since the vaccination program was rolled out in March.

DOLE to inoculate 2k OFWs set for deployment

Maris Federez   •   November 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to conduct another round of inoculation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on Wednesday, (November 10).

In a statement, the DOLE said the vaccination of OFWs will be held at the Labor Governance Learning Center (LGLC), DOLE Building in Intramuros Manila.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that they have allocated some 2,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines donated by the government of Brunei to the Philippines for the inoculation of OFWs who are set for deployment.

“I personally thank the Brunei government for donating the vaccines for our general population, specifically our OFWs. This will not only help accelerate the administration of the vaccines to thousands of Filipinos but will fast-track the deployment of our OFWs abroad,” Bello said.

Although the vaccination is on a first-come, first-served basis, OFWs who will be deployed in Brunei will be prioritized.

Bello said he has directed recruitment agencies to bring unvaccinated OFW-applicants to the designated vaccination site.

The labor chief added that he has sought the assistance of the Local Health Department of the City of Manila to administer the vaccination. —/mbmf

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