COVID-19 Crisis: Less than 13 million boosted in the Philippines so far

Recently the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported that the number of people in the country counted as fully vaccinated for COVID-19 was approaching the 70,000,000 mark. What is disturbing, however, is that the number of people who received their booster shots (note: the 3rd shot after two doses of most COVID-19 vaccine brands) is still low at less than 13,000,000 counted.

The anti-vaccine crazies out there can discourage people all they want but nothing changes the fact that booster shots are essential for the Philippines in order to truly emerge from the COVID-19 crisis and progress.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippines has administered 144,781,087 doses of coronavirus vaccines, with 66,979,873 Filipinos already with the full primary series.

Of the total, only 12,687,684 have booster shots as of Tuesday.

The latest data of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 also showed that 72,010,262 individuals, or 80.01 percent of the country’s target for population protection, have received at least one dose.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s prerecorded “Talk to the People” aired late Monday night, NTF chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. acknowledged the country is still lagging in the administration of booster shots or third doses.

Among the pediatric age groups, 9,918,970 first doses have been given to the 12 to 17 bracket and 2,694,251 for 5 to 11.

“Maganda po ang coverage natin from 18 to 59 years old. Ito po ‘yung adult population at mayroon po tayong (We have a good vaccination coverage from 18 to 59 years old. This is the adult population and we have) more or less 94.28 percent (of the target), with 52 million already with the first dose,” Galvez said.

For the 60 years old above, Galvez said the country has already vaccinated 6,907,715 with at least one dose.

If you do the math, 12,687,684 patients with booster shots out of the 66,979,873 fully vaccinated people is equivalent to 18.94%. In terms of simple numbers, there are more than 54 million fully vaccinated patients who have yet to get boosted. Still a long way to go before many others get boosted.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? If you have been fully vaccinated already, how long has it been since that happened? If you have not received your booster shot yet, have you tried contacting the local vaccination team? Do you think that it is time for the local governments to start announcing incentives to convince fully vaccinated patients to get boosted at last?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Have you received your booster shot already?

Are you one of the many millions of people here in the Philippines who got fully vaccinated (received two doses of most COVID-19 vaccines) for COVID-19 months ago? By now, you should be eligible to receive your booster shot and I wonder if your local government’s vaccination team contacted you about the said shot. Also, have you taken the effort to contact the local vaccination team about getting boosted?

The reason I ask these questions because only a minority of the Philippines’ fully vaccinated population got boosted and the number of boosted people is growing so slowly as revealed in a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

An infectious disease expert on Monday urged fully vaccinated individuals to get their booster shots to prevent another surge of Covid-19 cases.

In a televised public briefing, Department of Health – Technical Advisory Group member Edsel Salvaña said that the resurgence of infections is a possibility since Covid-19 “showed surprises worldwide”.

We have tools with which we have turned Covid into almost an endemic virus. Kung mapapagpatuloy pa natin ‘to, wala na pong bagong variant na lumabas, tuloy-tuloy na po ‘yan (If we can continue these, no new variant comes out, these will go on) towards endemicity,” he said.

The administration of a fourth dose for the immunocompromised, Salvaña said, is being studied as data are “still very preliminary” worldwide.

To date, 65,171,415 Filipinos are fully vaccinated while 11,530,728 of them have booster shots.

The vaccination for the pediatric sector also continues to gain momentum, with some 11 million aged 5 to 17 receiving at least one dose.

This number is expected to increase following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the use of the Sinovac vaccine for minors, pending the release of the final guidelines.

As seen in the above report, only 11,530,728 people successfully got boosted. That number is only 17.69% of the grand total 65,171,415. Still a very long way to go before the count of the boosted patients even comes close to the grand total.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? If you have been fully vaccinated already, how long has it been since that happened? If you have not received your booster shot yet, have you tried contacting the local vaccination team to verify if you are eligible and if there is a booster shot reserved for you?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

COVID-19 Crisis: Las Piñas City’s vaccination count surpasses 1.3 million

It took two weeks but Las Piñas City has finally surpassed the mark of 1,300,000 in its ongoing inoculation/vaccination count according to the most recent COVID-19 statistics the City Government announced via social media.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the latest display of data regarding Las Piñas City’s COVID-19 vaccination statistics.

The official numbers.

As seen in the above statistics accurate of as March 6, 2022, the total inoculation count of the city has been recorded at 1,314,558 (almost 26,000 higher compared to the previous count of February 20, 2022). Their vaccination count of patients who received the first dose was at 585,882 while the number of patients who received their 2nd dose (which made them fully vaccinated) has reached 560,876.

On the adult population, category A4 remains the most vaccinated with over 400,000 counted which includes the first dose, the second dose and Janssen vaccination. On the Pediatric A3 numbers, more than 100,000 patients aged 12 to 17 have been vaccinated (note: first and second dose numbers combined). Patients aged 5 to 11 who got vaccinated surpassed the mark of 20,000 (note: first and second dose numbers combined).

When it comes to the booster shots, the latest number is 182,678. That’s still a small number when compared to the city’s official count of patients who received their 2nd dose.

As reported already in the news, the urgency to get vaccinated or boosted has faded somewhat with the public, especially in Metro Manila and other areas that have been placed under Alert Level 1 status. The local government units (LGUs) and the national authorities will have to come up with ways to encourage the unvaccinated to get vaccinated, as well as encouraging the fully vaccinated patients to get their free booster shots. Think about this carefully. If not enough people get vaccinated/boosted at the vaccination sites because many are enjoying the freedom of Alert Level 1, then it can lead to the spoilage or expiration of many vaccines that end up unused.

For all the unvaccinated people reading this, any Las Piñas resident who has yet to get registered for the free COVID-19 vaccines can learn the ways (4 methods) by clicking here. Anyone who is ready and willing to register online can click bit.ly/LasPiñasVaccination

Meanwhile, the City Government is already handling the online registration process for COVID-19 vaccination for local minors (aged 12 to 17) which can be done at http://laspinascityonline.laspinascity.gov.ph/eCVRS/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are  a resident of Las Piñas City, what is your reaction to this recent development? Did you notice that the lines at local vaccination sites have been shorter compared to just a few months ago? Do you think that anti-vaccination fanatics are influencing members of your local community to avoid vaccination?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Infectious disease expert says 2nd booster shot only recommended for senior citizens and immunocompromised patients for now

If you are a resident of Metro Manila, have you been enjoying the additional freedom of movement and spending more time inside commercial establishments under the Alert Level 1 status that has been in effect since March 1, 2022? Whatever you do, do not forget to follow health protocols. Equally important, you must remember your current status of vaccination and if you are due for a 2nd booster shot (or the 4th shot if you have already received three doses of COVID-19 vaccines).

Even as the Philippines has a little over 10 million people who got their booster shots (3rd shot), the 2nd booster shot (meant for those who received three doses previously) is already being talked about according to recent GMA Network news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA Network news report. Some parts in boldface…

Infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante on Monday said the second booster shot is only recommended for senior citizens and immunocompromised for now, and not yet for the younger or general population.

“For the more vulnerable population, the 60 years old and above, and immunocompromised, ito ‘yung ina-ano natin ngayon na sana mabigyan ng pangalawang booster para talaga ang protection dito is against the severe form of COVID,” Solante said in a radio interview.

[We are pushing for a second booster shot for the more vulnerable population like the 60 years old and above and the immunocompromised, so they could get protected against the severe form of COVID-19.]

Solante then explained that the health experts’ advice remains for those who have completed their primary vaccine series to get one booster shot after three to six months.

“For the younger population, ‘yung tinatawag nating immunocompetent, I don’t think we need additional booster. With the ability of this vaccine to protect us against severe infection, alam naman talaga natin na pwede rin tayong mahawahan pero ang importante nito, hindi tayo mag-severe [we know that we can still be infected but the important thing is that it’s not severe],” he said.

“So I think, the first booster for the younger population may be enough. Wala pa tayong [we don’t have yet] recommendation for a second booster,” he added.

Health Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations Center chairperson Dr. Myrna Cabotaje said on Saturday that vaccinations at local government units nationwide slowed down the past week, with some people losing the sense of urgency when it comes to booster shots.

This is why the priority for the fourth wave of the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” national vaccination drive will be senior citizens who have not yet completed their primary dose series and those set for booster shots.

“Napaka-importante especially with the vulnerable population na sana pupunta kayo sa vaccination centers. ‘Yung hindi pa nagpa-booster, magpa-booster na kayo. ‘Yung hindi pa nagpabakuna, ito na ‘yung panahon na talagang kailangan na tayong magpabakuna,” Solante added.

[It is very important especially for the vulnerable population to go to vaccination centers. Those who have not received their booster shots yet, get it now. Those who have not been vaccinated, this is the time when we really need to be vaccinated.]

Currently, the Philippine government is administering third doses to senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals, while booster shots are given to those who completed the primary doses–single for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, double for the other bands.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? If you have been boosted already, how long has it been since that happened? Do you remember the specific brands of vaccines of your first two doses and the booster dose?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Booster shots received by ten million people all over the Philippines

As the heavily congested Metro Manila is now on its 4th day under the Alert Level 1 status, people are now enjoying more freedom of movement and the food-beverage business joints are able to accommodate more customers who physically spend time at their respective venues. Along the way, there are some noticeable positive developments about business in the Philippines getting reported. Regardless, there is still the need to keep on following health protocols and face masks are still to be used even though the national daily count of new COVID-19 cases remains relatively low.

There is, however, the need to be vaccinated as well as boosted for COVID-19. No matter how loud the anti-vaccine fanatics rant and complain, nothing changes the fact that COVID-19 vaccines are a major factor on helping the Philippines gradually recover and rise up from this pandemic. More on the topic vaccination, it was revealed that the number of fully vaccinated patients (those who received two doses of most COVID-19 vaccine brands) who got boosted (the 3rd shot/booster shot) has reached ten million, as stated in a recent report by the Manila Bulletin. The number of fully vaccinated people in the Philippines is over sixty million.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

A total of 63 million individuals in the Philippines have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but only 10 million individuals have so far received their booster jab, said National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 special adviser Dr. Teodoro “Ted” Herbosa on Tuesday, March 1.

Herbosa, in an ANC interview, reiterated the importance of a booster jab despite having been “fully immunized” against the disease.

The idea of the booster is to just increase your immunity. You already have immunity. Let me make that clear: if you are fully vaccinated, your immunity does not disappear but your antibodies actually wane. That’s why the booster shot stimulates your immune system to produce more antibodies against COVID-19,” said Herbosa.

He also added that while it stimulates the immune system in producing more antibodies, it actually gives “additional protection” against the disease and its emerging variants.

Meanwhile, Herbosa disclosed that the booster inoculation is one of the “slow parts” of the country’s vaccination program.

“Kailangan magpa-booster ha. If you have been fully vaccinated, you should get boosted [as well]. This is another slow part of our vaccination program. We’ve vaccinated 63 million but only 10 million have come forward to get their booster shots. Reminder to the public na hindi enough ang two doses, kailangan kumuha rin tayo ng third dose (We need to get boosted. If you have been fully vaccinated, you should get boosted as well. This is another slow part of our vaccination program. We’ve vaccinated 63 million but only 10 million have come forward to get their booster shots. I just want to remind the public that two doses are not enough, we need to get boosted),” he added.

The above report ended stating that based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard statistics, 63,188,209 people were fully vaccinated while 10,137,607 people got their respective booster shots as of February 21, 2022. There is still a very long way to go before the booster shot count reaches 60,000,000.

While the Omicron variant does not look like a major problem anymore here in the Philippines, there is still that possibility that another coronavirus variant might come out. Whenever a new variant comes out, concerns or doubts about the protection provided by vaccines always emerge in people’s minds.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? Are most of the people in your local community fully vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19 already?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Denmark lifts most of its pandemic-related restrictions

If you are tired of the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks, vaccine passes/cards and face shields, and if you are looking for the normalization of life, you might want to pay close attention to the nation of Denmark as it lifted many pandemic-related restrictions, according to an Agence France Presse (AFP) news story picked up by GMA Network. Take note that this is the second time Denmark attempted a return to pre-pandemic life and as of this writing more than sixty percent of the Danish population have been boosted (three shots) with COVID-19 vaccines.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA Network news report. Some parts in boldface…

Denmark waved goodbye to facemasks and health passes Tuesday as it became the first European Union country to lift all of its domestic COVID-19 curbs despite record numbers of cases of the milder Omicron variant.

Only a few restrictions remain in place at the country’s borders, for unvaccinated travelers arriving from non-Schengen countries.

After a first attempt at lifting restrictions between September and November, the Scandinavian country once again ditched its COVID-19 checks and limited opening hours for bars and restaurants.

“For me, the best part is that we don’t need to wear masks anymore,” Natalia Chechetkina, a receptionist in Copenhagen, told AFP.

“At least now we have a choice — if we want to protect ourselves or we want to feel free.”

Marie Touflet, a 23-year-old French student in the capital, said it was “pretty strange to take the metro without a mask, compared to France”.

“It’s really nice to be able to see people’s faces and it feels like we’re living normally again,” she said.

The easing comes as Denmark registers around 40,000-50,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, or almost one percent of the country’s 5.8 million inhabitants.

Health officials believe those figures will soon start going down.

“There are strong indications that the infection has peaked in the areas where it has been most pronounced,” Tyra Krause of Denmark’s public health and research institution SSI told news agency Ritzau.

“So it’s super good timing for the restrictions to be eased.”

‘Shift of responsibility’

More than 60 percent of Danes have received a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — one month ahead of health authorities’ schedule — compared to an EU average of just under 45 percent.

Including those who have recently had COVID-19, health authorities estimate that 80 percent of the population is protected against severe forms of the disease.

With Omicron not being a severe disease for the vaccinated, we believe it is reasonable to lift restrictions,” epidemiologist Lone Simonsen of the University of Roskilde told AFP.

Two years after the start of the pandemic, the Danish strategy enjoys broad support at home.

In a poll published Monday by daily Politiken, 64 percent of Danes surveyed said they had faith in the government’s COVID policy, while the lifting of restrictions also has widespread support in parliament.

Going forward, Danes are being urged to exercise personal responsibility.

Without a COVID pass there will be a shift of responsibility,” Simonsen said.

Danes have increasingly used home tests to detect infection, but these are now being phased out and instead, anyone with symptoms is advised to stay home.

The Danish Health Authority currently “recommends” those who test positive to isolate for four days, while contact cases no longer need to quarantine.

Facemasks and the COVID pass are also recommended for hospital visits.

Denmark lifted restrictions as the World Health Organization chief Tuesday warned it was too early for countries to either declare victory over COVID-19 or give up attempts to halt transmission.

For further understanding about the latest development in Denmark and what their Prime Minister stated, posted below is an excerpt from the January 28, 2022 news story by CBN News. Some parts in boldface…

Denmark’s government said Wednesday it will scrap most pandemic restrictions next week, even as neighboring Sweden extended its own measures for another fortnight.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that as of Feb. 1 Danes will enjoy free access to restaurants, cafes, museums and nightclubs, while mask use will cease to be mandatory.

We say goodbye to the restrictions and welcome the life we knew before” the pandemic, Frederiksen said. “As of Feb. 1, Denmark will be open.”

Denmark currently requires face masks on public transportation, in shops, for standing clients in restaurant indoor areas, and for people entering hospitals, health care facilities, and retirement homes. As of Feb. 1, the government will only recommend mask use in hospitals, health care facilities and homes for the elderly.

Frederiksen said that while the omicron variant is surging in Denmark, it is not placing a heavy burden on the health system and the country has a high vaccination rate.

It may seem strange that we want to remove restrictions given the high infection rates,” she said. “But fewer people become seriously ill.

Denmark has in recent weeks seen more than 46,000 daily cases on average, but only 40 people are currently in hospital intensive care units – down from 80 a few weeks ago – Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said.

Heunicke urged Danes to get tested regularly. ”We continue with a strong epidemic surveillance. Then we … can react quickly if necessary.”

Frederiksen warned that Denmark could see a rise in infections in the coming weeks, adding that a fourth vaccination shot might prove necessary.

The restrictions being scrapped next week were originally introduced in July but were removed about ten weeks later after a successful vaccination drive. They were reintroduced when infections soared.

In 2020, Denmark became one of the first European countries to close schools because of the pandemic and sent home all public employees without critical functions.

No matter what happens around the world and no matter what the mainstream news media reports, never forget that it is only the Lord who can lift us all up from this COVID-19 crisis, restore us, protect us and prosper us. For continued protection from the Lord, read the entire Chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him in the privacy of your room. Jesus is our Lord and Savior!

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about Denmark’s moves of attempting to normalize life by removing COVID-19-related restrictions? Do you believe that your local community or even your national government can learn something from the Danes when it comes to pandemic living? How do you think the Danish people would react to the approved restrictions on unvaccinated people and businesses as implemented by the City of Parañaque (additional reference here)? Do your local government officials believe that face shields are truly protective from coronavirus?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Almost 60 million Filipinos fully vaccinated

This past weekend, the national government announced that almost sixty million Filipinos nationwide have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). To be more precise, the official count was at 57 million.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippines has administered 122,889,494 doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines nationwide as of Saturday, with 57,095,695 Filipinos now with complete shots and better protected against the virus.

Data from the National Covid-19 vaccination dashboard showed 59,716,484 individuals have received at least the first dose of the primary series while 6,077,315 got their booster or additional doses.

The government recently launched the “Resbakuna sa Botika” program in partnership with private pharmaceutical stores and clinics to encourage more fully vaccinated Filipinos to avail of booster shots.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, said “self-management and social responsibility” would greatly contribute to the country’s response to the global health crisis.

“Basically, it is not sustainable that only the national government will take care of everything. I believe the private sector, the LGUs (local government units), and also the different parts of our society want to have responsibility. And that’s the way forward to our Covid-19 pandemic response,” Galvez said in an interview at a booster vaccination event in Makati City on Friday.

Galvez said there should a policy shift from having a government-centered approach to giving pre-access to those who are willing to assist in the national vaccination program.

On face value, having 57 million fully vaccinated Filipinos nationwide sounds like good news but in reality it remains to be seen if the Omicron variant could be resisted. 

More on the Omicron variant, it is crucial for the Philippines to acquire as many new doses of Sputnik vaccines from Gamaleya to really immunize and boost more Filipinos as soon as possible. Already there were studies conducted showing that Sputnik V and Sputnik Light resulted in strong resistance against the Omicron variant (for references, click here, here and here). Historically, Muntinlupa City was one of the first cities of the Philippines to receive a batch of Sputnik V vaccines.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does the news about our nation having almost sixty million fully vaccinated Filipinos sound encouraging to you? Are there still lots of unvaccinated people there in your local community? If you are managing a business, have you checked if your employees got fully vaccinated or even boosted? Are you still worried about the Omicron variant? If you have been fully vaccinated, when did you get your 2nd dose and when do you plan to get yourself boosted?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: RDIF and Gamaleya point to Italy study confirming Sputnik V vaccine provides strong protection against Omicron variant

With the whole world continues to struggle hard with COVID-19 problems as well as the highly infectious Omicron variant, a recent study conducted in Italy by the Spallanzani Institute confirmed what was determined by other studies before – Sputnik V provides strong protection against the Omicron variant. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Gamaleya highlighted the newest study at the Sputnik Vaccine website very recently as well as other notable updates and detailed references.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the press release at SputnikVaccine.com. Some parts in boldface…

The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Center) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, investor in Sputnik V and Sputnik Light coronavirus vaccines), today announced a unique independent comparative study conducted at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani (Italy) by a joint team of researchers of the Institute and the Gamaleya Center showing that 2 doses of Sputnik V provide more than 2 times higher geometric mean titers (GMT) of virus neutralizing antibodies to the Omicron variant of COVID than 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine (2.1 times higher in total and 2.6 times higher 3 months after vaccination).

An article by a team of 12 Italian and 9 Russian scientists led by Francesco Vaia, Director of the Spallanzani Institute and Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the Gamaleya Center, has been published in medRxiv (the preprint server for health sciences) and is available at:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.01.15.22269335v1 

The study was conducted in Spallanzani Institute in the equal laboratory conditions at the Italian Spallanzani Institute on comparable groups of sera from individuals vaccinated with Sputnik V and Pfizer, with no statistically significant difference in neutralizing activity against Wuhan variant.The advantages of Sputnik V are the use of native S glycoprotein (spike protein without proline-stabilization and other modifications) and the use of a heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimen. The Pfizer vaccine utilizes the spike protein in a proline-stabilized form in contrast to Sputnik V. Proline-stabilization and other modifications may move an immune response predominantly to the actively mutating receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike protein. In the Omicron variant, a substantial number of mutations were registered precisely in RBD, which is why such a significant drop in neutralizing activity against this variant may be observed in the sera of Pfizer-vaccinated.

Boosting with Sputnik Light as part of the “mix & match” approach may help address the lower efficacy of mRNA vaccines against Omicron as well as the documented, quickly waning, efficacy of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. Partnerships between adenoviral and mRNA vaccines could provide for stronger protection against Omicron and other variants.

Based on the data collected by the Spallanzani Institute and results of previous studies, heterologous (“mix & match”) boosting with Sputnik Light is the best solution to increase other vaccines’ efficacy and extend the booster protection period as optimal adenoviral platform configuration provides better protection against Omicron and other mutations:

a. Sputnik Light as a booster significantly increases virus neutralizing activity against Omicron, which is comparable to titers observed after Sputnik V against wild-type virus, associated with high levels of protection. The study results were summarized in an article available at:

www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.17.21267976v1

b. Sputnik Light has already shown strong results as a booster in “mix & match” trials in Argentina. A combination of Sputnik Light with vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Cansino, conducted in 5 provinces (City and Province of Buenos Aires, as well as Córdoba, La Rioja and San Luis) has demonstrated that Sputnik Light induces stronger antibody and T-cell response as compared to a homologous regimen (two shots of the same vaccine). Each “vaccine cocktail” combination with Sputnik Light provided higher antibody titer on the 14th day after administering a second dose when compared to original homologous (same vaccine as first and second dose) regimens of each of the vaccines.

c. As duration of vaccine protection is key to avoid frequent boosting, authors of another study in Argentina have noted that protection against coronavirus remains stable following vaccination with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as a consequence of antibody maturation, resulting in improved potency of antibodies to viral escape mutations:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.22.21262186v1

d. The study conducted by a number of highly respected institutes in the US (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and University of North Carolina) demonstrated that boosting Pfizer vaсcine with Ad26 vector produces optimal durable protection against Omicron with 4 times higher increase in Omicron-specific T-cells and 2.4 times in neutralizing antibody titers vs Pfizer booster. Sputnik Light is based on Ad26 vector and is the universal booster for other vaccines vs all mutations:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.02.21267198v2

e. US study on 168 mln people showed that one-shot COVID vaccine based on Ad26 is superior against infections and hospitalizations to quickly waning two-shot mRNA vaccines. In the 6th month after vaccination, Pfizer protection against hospitalization waned 4 times, while there was no evidence of waning protection against hospitalization for Ad26 vector:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.01.05.22268648v1

f. Another study conducted on almost 500,000 health care workers in South Africa demonstrated 85% efficacy of Ad26 booster against hospitalization caused by Omicron variant:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.28.21268436v1.full-text

Partnership among vaccine manufacturers through heterologous (“mix & match”) boosting by other vaccines is needed to address the quickly waning efficacy of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, which was documented in multiple studies:

a. The study in US among 65+ years old population demonstrated the decrease in mRNA vaccine effectiveness against Delta accelerated after month 4, reaching a low of approximately 20% in months 5 through 7:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2787183

b. According to Swedish data, the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy against Delta strain is falling to below 30% after 6 months:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3949410

c. The UK Health Security Agency said those who had received three doses of Pfizer’s vaccine saw their protection against symptomatic illness caused by Omicron variant drop to 45% within 10 weeks:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investigation-of-sars-cov-2-variants-technical-briefings

Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, said:

“The joint study by the Gamaleya Center and Spallanzani Institute confirmed the results obtained in our separate study published in December 2021. The hard scientific data proves Sputnik V has higher virus neutralizing activity against Omicron as compared to other vaccines and will play a major role in the global fight against this new contagious variant.”

Denis Logunov, Deputy Director of the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, noted:

“The Spallanzani Institute is one of the leading European research centers and our joint study provided a unique opportunity for independent analysis of different vaccine platforms against Omicron. Adenoviral vector platform in the core of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines once again proved to be the best solution in creating strong and durable immunity against COVID and its new variants.”

That was a huge load of information above. While the excerpt is long, I urge you all to read still read the full press release online which itself has some visual presentation of statistics and studies. For insight, read my previous Sputnik-Omicron article. As for my native Philippines, I hope that the government officials have been paying close attention to these press releases and other global studies related to Sputnik vaccines. I also hope the national authorities will acquire a lot more Sputnik vaccines to really protect Filipinos from the Omicron variant which itself caused the deaths of two people here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you have been vaccinated with a Sputnik V vaccine or the one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine, does this latest, highly detailed press release make you confident with what you have been injected with? If you have been vaccinated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, are you convinced that the mRNA technology is flawed with regards to providing you protection against the coronvirus and its variants? 

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Around 100 million vaccine doses in stock for the entire Philippines according to Galvez

Recently vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr., stated that the Philippines has more or less one hundred million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in stock, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. What is clearly lacking, however, is the specific brands for the current vaccine stockpile.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

More or less 100 million doses of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are still in the government’s stockpile and will be used to vaccinate some 28 million to 30 million Filipinos who remain unvaccinated.

Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said the remaining doses are also enough for the booster shots of 25 million Filipinos.

“Mayroon po tayong babakunahan pa na primary series o ‘yung unang bakuna sa 28-30 million na katao (We have 28 to 30 million people who are on our primary list or those who are yet to receive the vaccines,” said Galvez.

“Though ‘yung 100 million doses na nasa stockpile po natin ay sapat sa remaining primary series ng unvaccinated at para sa 25 million na eligible ngayong quarter for boosters (The 100 million doses in our stockpile are enough for the remaining primary series of unvaccinated and for the 25 million who are eligible for booster this (first) quarter),” he added.

As of January 10, a total of 114,263,805 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide. Of this number, 52,856,932 individuals are already fully vaccinated.

The vaccination and booster shots that are being eyed to be completed with the first quarter of this year (January to March) is part of the first milestone of the NTF Against COVID-19.

Galvez said they are also eyeing the completion of its target of vaccinating 90 million by the end of the second quarter.

As seen in the above article, there was no breakdown as to what brands of vaccines are part of the current national supply. As it is believed that the Omicron variant is the cause behind the current COVID-19 surge around the country, the national authorities as well as the local government units (LGUs) should seriously consider acquiring a lot more Sputnik vaccines (for more on Sputnik vaccines effectiveness against Omicron variant, click here and here) to really help entire nation. It’s high time for the Philippines to negotiate with their Russian counterparts for more Sputnik vaccines. Take note that the nation of Tunisia approved the use of the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine as their universal booster.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you think that the current supply of COVID-19 vaccines for the entire Philippines will be fully used by the end of June 2022? Are you very conscious about what brands of vaccines the government keeps on ordering and receiving? Are there people in your local community who remain unvaccinated because of phobia towards vaccines or needles?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines should have more Sputnik vaccines to combat Omicron variant

While it is nice to know that my native Philippines has secured over two hundred million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination operations around the country include the issuance of booster shots, I honestly believe that more Sputnik vaccines (Sputnik V, Sputnik Light and the upcoming new Sputnik vaccine designed with Omicron in mind) are needed in the country and more of them should be secured especially since the Omicron variant is infecting more people locally.

In 2021, the Philippines received millions of Sputnik V vaccines but too little of the single-dose Sputnik Light. Good thing that the Philippines will negotiate for more Sputnik Light vaccines because in recent news, Sputnik Light has been approved in Tunisia as a universal booster!

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the SputnikVaccine.com press release. Some parts in boldface…

Moscow, December 29, 2021 – The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces the approval of the Russian one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine against coronavirus as a universal booster shot by Tunisia’s Ministry of Health.

Sputnik Light is based on recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (the first component of Sputnik V). A one-shot vaccination regimen of Sputnik Light provides for ease of administration and helps to increase efficacy and duration of other vaccines when used as a booster shot. Sputnik Light has already been authorized in more than 30 countries.

Clinical studies and the real-world data in many countries have demonstrated that Sputnik Light is a safe and effective vaccine when used both on a standalone basis and as a booster.

A study in Argentina on heterogeneous regimens combining Sputnik Light and vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Cansino has demonstrated that Sputnik Light is an effective universal booster. Each “vaccine cocktail” combination with Sputnik Light provided higher antibody titer on 14th day after administering the second dose as compared to original homogenous (same vaccine as first and second dose) regimens of each of the vaccines.

A preliminary study of the Gamaleya Center has found Sputnik Light significantly increases virus neutralizing activity against Omicron based on sera 2-3 months after revaccination with 100% of individuals revaccinated with Sputnik Light as a booster having developed neutralizing antibodies against this variant. Sputnik Light booster is recommended to strengthen efficacy of vaccines against Omicron. Boosting by Sputnik Light can strengthen and lengthen the quickly waning efficacy of many vaccines in light of combined Delta and Omicron challenge.

Sputnik Light efficacy data:

  • Sputnik Light has been proven to be safe and highly effective by real-world vaccination data. In particular, data from the Ministry of Health of Buenos Aires (Argentina) has demonstrated standalone efficacy of Sputnik Light between 78.6-83.7% among the elderly (over 40,000 people of 60-79 years old), which is higher than that of many two-dose vaccines.
  • Findings by the Gamaleya Center based on data collected in Moscow have demonstrated Sputnik Light vaccine administered standalone has 70% efficacy against infection from the Delta variant of coronavirus during the first three months after vaccination. The vaccine is 75% effective among subjects under the age of 60. Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are based on a safe and effective human adenoviral vector platform and have not been associated with rare serious adverse events following vaccination, such as myocarditis or pericarditis.

Previously, it has been declared that Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are highly effective against the Omicron variant (referencing an article published in Vaccines medical journal and international real-world data from numerous countries) and Gamaleya itself conducted a preliminary study confirming the findings.

As for the Omicron variant situation here in the Philippines, Sputnik vaccines would be more crucial for public health especially since there are many Filipinos who have been vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine which according to a recent study was found to be weaker versus Omicron. Once the Sinovac protection has faded away, there is the potential of a wave of new COVID-19 infections caused by the Omicron variant. Right now, we can only hope that the Philippines is negotiating with their counterparts in Russia to acquire many millions of new doses of Sputnik V, Sputnik Light and the upcoming new Sputnik (designed with Omicron in mind).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you been vaccinated previously with Sputnik V or Sputnik Light? If you were fully vaccinated with Sinovac, do you prefer a Sputnik vaccine to be your booster shot?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/