COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines vaccine expert panel members call Sputnik Light a good booster shot against COVID-19

I said it before and I will say it again – the Philippines should acquire a lot more supplies of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines to be used in nationwide vaccination for COVID-19 especially as the Omicron variant has been present locally (reportedly over a thousand cases nationwide) and already there were people who died because of it. There are already studies confirming that Sputnik vaccines are effective against the highly infectious Omicron variant (for references, click here, here and here). Recently a few experts on vaccination here in the Philippines expressed their views about the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine as reported by CNN Philippines. Here is hoping the national government will pay close attention to the details.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the CNN Philippines news report. Some parts in boldface…

Gamaleya Institute’s single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine is a good booster shot candidate against coronavirus infection, according to members of the Philippines’ vaccine expert panel.

Pediatric infectious diseases specialist Dr. Maria Liza Gonzales shared the study on 84 individuals who received Sputnik Light. This measured the antibody, T-Cell responses, and the level of virus neutralizing activity against variants of concern — including the Alpha, Delta, and Omicron variants.

It showed Sputnik Light enhanced the immune response of previously infected individuals on the seventh day after vaccination. Those who never had COVID-19 infection, meanwhile, only developed antibody response after 21 days.

“Can it be useful as a booster? I think the studies would show that it would. It would actually enhance the immune response in those who were previously vaccinated and in fact…higher pa ang response in those who were previously infected. So, whether infected or not and given primary immunization, I think the Sputnik would be a good booster to be given, to be used,” Gonzales told a forum on Tuesday.

She noted that Sputnik Light has the same components as the first dose of Sputnik V.

Another vaccine expert panel member, Dr. Derrick Sumalapao, said the revaccination with Sputnik Light among inoculated individuals could elicit neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant.

“The good thing is there is presence of such neutralizing antibody to Omicron variant among the study participants revaccinated with Sputnik Light,” he said.

A study conducted by Italian Spallanzani Institute and Gamaleya Center also found that the level of antibodies fighting the Omicron variant among those vaccinated with Sputnik V did not decline as much as Pfizer. The study involved 51 people inoculated with Sputnik V and 17 with Pfizer.

It showed Sputnik V has more than twice the number of neutralizing antibodies to Omicron.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this newest development? Are you convinced that the national government as well as local government units (LGUs) should seriously consider acquiring more doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines to really immunize as many Filipinos as possible as part of the effort to lift the country up from this pandemic? Are you aware that the nation of Tunisia approved the use of Sputnik Light as their universal booster for COVID-19 vaccines?

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: Philippine economy expected to grow 6% to 7% this year

Even though there are lots of news reports and social media updates about the current COVID-19 surge here in the Philippines, there is still the expectation that the national economy will grow 6% to 7% this year, according to an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine economy is expected to return to its 6 to 7-percent growth trajectory in 2022 after nearly two years of grappling with the pandemic despite the threat of the Omicron variant, according to the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group.

First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC) said this year’s economic growth will be driven by sustained domestic demand, easing inflation, election expenditures, and accelerated government spending on infrastructure projects.

“Notwithstanding the ongoing pandemic, and Omicron sparking the third wave of infections, we are still optimistic that Philippine growth will further accelerate and get back on its trajectory of 6-7 percent in 2022,” FMIC president Jose Patricio Dumlao said in a virtual briefing Tuesday.

Dumlao said the economy registered a 4.9-percent growth in the first three quarters of 2021 and the growth momentum likely spilled over in the fourth quarter given further economic reopening and easing mobility restrictions.

He added business and consumer confidence are also cautiously positive given wider availability of vaccines and relaxation of lockdowns, quarantine measures, and mobility restrictions.

University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) economist Dr. Victor Abola said the 6 to 7 percent gross domestic product (GDP) projection this year will be led by the industry sector –both construction and manufacturing.

Abola said services will still be the lagging sector as the pandemic measures hit hotels and restaurants.

“The Philippine situation is that there is recovery but still on the way to reach the pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

The country’s GDP posted a -9.5 percent full-year growth rate in 2020 compared to its 5.9 percent pre-pandemic performance in 2019.

Abola said the business process outsourcing (BPO) is a major contributor to the resiliency of the economy amid the pandemic.

“And it’s not the same as usual call centers, etc. You can see there are new, emerging segments and that is what companies are focusing on,” he said, citing insurance, life sciences, healthcare, and data analytics, among others.

Aside from BPO revenues, FMIC chairman Francisco Sebastian said the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) remittances are boosting the economy.

It would be nice to see such economic expectations come true because the Philippines still has yet to recover the massive economic loss of 2020 (the first year of the pandemic). Apart from COVID-19 infections, there is also the factor of governance linked with declaring restrictions that can get in the way of economic recovery and make things harder for everyone. Do not forget the August 2021 sudden ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) declaration (additional reference here) and the ban on outdoor exercise within the national capital region that the Metro Manila Council (MMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are responsible for. There was also the national government’s flip-flop on declaring quarantine statuses of September 2021. Think about all the economic damage caused by those three developments!

With the May 2022 national and local elections coming, we can only hope that those in government – especially the Metro Manila local government units – will set aside their egos and make decisions wisely. The nation’s economy cannot afford another massive lockdown as well!

With regards to the Omicron variant that was believed to be a factor behind the current COVID-19 surge around the country, the authorities should seriously consider acquiring a lot more Sputnik vaccines (for more on Sputnik vaccines effectiveness against Omicron variant, click here and here).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you think that the Philippine economy will grow 6% to 7% this year even though there is a COVID-19 surge of new infections happening? Do you believe that government officials will do better in making hard decisions related to the current surge?

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: Parañaque City’s new executive order targets unvaccinated individuals as well as local businesses

Individuals in Parañaque City who remain unvaccinated for COVID-19 will have to brace themselves for a more restrictive form of new normal living within the city as a new executive order was approved to regulate them as well as local businesses, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez signed an executive order on Tuesday (Jan. 4) regulating the movement of unvaccinated individuals in the city while the National Capital Region (NCR) is under Alert Level 3.

Olivarez, in his order, stated that unvaccinated individuals must stay at home at all times and can only go out to buy essential goods.

The police and barangays were also ordered to reprimand or issue citation tickets to individuals found violating the order.

He warned individuals as well as business establishment owners against using fake COVID-19 vaccination cards and certificates.

The mayor also asked the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) to conduct monitoring on all business establishments in the city to make sure that only vaccinated individuals are allowed to work on site and must show proof of vaccination certificate from the Department of Health (DOH) and vaccination ID from the local government.

The above report ended stating that business establishments are also prohibited from catering or allowing the entry of unvaccinated individuals into their premises.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Parañaque City who still is unvaccinated, do you find the new executive order discriminating or excessive with regulating you? If you are managing a business in the city, do you think the local authorities will be fair when it comes to monitoring the individuals (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) entering your business location? Is the City Government doing the right thing? Will this new executive order make life worse in the city? Do you think that the new executive order will present the spread of Omicron, Delta and Lambda variants in the city at all?

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: 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/

COVID-19 Crisis: Gamaleya Center’s preliminary study shows Sputnik vaccines are effective against Omicron variant

Have you been inoculated with the vaccine of Sputnik V or Sputnik Light before? In case you missed the news, the people behind the Russian vaccines made some profound announcements in relation to the Omicron variant which continues to infect a lot of people in many parts of the world (note: a 3rd Omicron case has just been confirmed here in the Philippines). Also revealed were comparisons with other brands of COVID-19 vaccines.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the first of two excerpts from the official press release published on the Sputnik Vaccine website. Some parts in boldface…

Moscow, December 17, 2021 – A preliminary laboratory study conducted by the Gamaleya Center has demonstrated that the Sputnik V vaccine and the one-shot Sputnik Light booster (based on human adenovirus serotype 26, the first component of Sputnik V) are effective against Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of COVID, providing for better protection when compared to other vaccines.

Heterologous boosting with Sputnik Light is the solution to increase other vaccines’ efficacy, including against Omicron, and extend the booster protection period.

Sputnik Light as a booster significantly increases virus neutralizing activity against Omicron based on sera 2-3 months after revaccination and is a universal booster to other vaccines inducing stronger antibody and T-cell response.

Efficacy of mRNA vaccines has proven to be waning, demonstrated by a number of scientific publications. A Swedish study in The Lancet journal [4] has shown that Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy against Delta is falling to 47% after 4 months, to 29% after 6 months and to 23% after 7 months. The recent study in US among 65+ years olds demonstrated the decrease in mRNA vaccine effectiveness accelerating against Delta after month 4, reaching a low of approximately 20% in months 5 through 7 [5].

Recognizing the waning efficacy of mRNA vaccines, EU, UK, Greece, South Korea and other countries have recommended reducing the boosting period from 6 to 3 months.

Sputnik Light booster is recommended to strengthen efficacy of vaccines against Omicron. Boosting by Sputnik Light as well as heterologous boosting can strengthen and lengthen the quickly waning efficacy of many vaccines in light of combined Delta and Omicron challenge.

Sputnik Light has already been registered in more than 20 countries as a standalone vaccine and a universal booster to other vaccines helping to increase their efficacy (including in Argentina, UAE, Bahrain, Philippines, and San Marino). Sputnik V has been authorized in 71 countries with total population of over 4 billion people.

Sputnik Light has already shown strong results used 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 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 homogenous (same vaccine as first and second dose) regimens of each of the vaccines.

Authors of a study in Argentina have noted that protection against coronavirus remains stable over at least 4 months following vaccination with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as a consequence of antibody maturation, resulting in improved potency of antibodies to viral escape mutations. The study results were summarized in an article at https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.22.21262186v1

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.

Take note that this is not the first time that the group behind Sputnik V and Sputnik Light claimed their current vaccines are effective against the Omicron variant. Regardless, they went ahead developing a new and upcoming version of the Sputnik vaccine with Omicron in mind.

Going back to the above press release excerpt, the findings (conducted by other studies done by different research groups) exposed the weakness of mRNA vaccines particularly on efficacy against the Delta variant. If mRNA vaccines really cannot protect the vaccinated people from the Delta variant, how can they protect them from the much more contagious Omicron variant?

And now for the other details from the Sputnik Vaccine press release posted in the other excerpt below. Some parts are in bold face. Please read closely…

  • The Gamaleya Center’s recent preliminary laboratory study shows that Sputnik V demonstrates high virus neutralizing activity (VNA) against the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant and is expected to provide strong defense against severe disease and hospitalization.
  • Sputnik V has demonstrated 3-7x less of a reduction in virus neutralizing activity against Omicron as compared to data from other vaccine producers: 11.8 times decrease of VNA for Sputnik V in contrast with 41 times decrease for Pfizer-BioNTech (according to the study led by scientists from Africa Health Research Institute published on Dec 7, 2021 [1]) and 49-84 times decrease for Moderna (according to the study published by research group from scientific institutes including Vaccine Research Center on Dec 15, 2021 [2]). So far, Sputnik V is showing the best virus neutralization results against Omicron in comparison with other vaccines.
  • The study was conducted using sera with a longer period after vaccination (more than 6 months after vaccination) as an indicator of Sputnik V’s long-lasing protection, in contrast with short studied periods for other vaccines producers (12-27 days for Pfizer-BioNTech and 28 days for Moderna).
  • Sputnik V elicits strong and long-lasting T-cell response, and as 80% of epitopes in the spike protein are not affected by the mutations in the Omicron variant, Sputnik V is expected to provide long-lasting protection against severe disease by Omicron. Sputnik V’s long-lasting T-cell immunity contributes to 80% efficacy against Delta on months 6-8 compared with efficacy of less than 29% demonstrated by certain mRNA vaccines after 6 months.
  • Sputnik Light as a booster significantly increases virus neutralizing activity against Omicron based on sera 2-3 months after revaccination. Virus neutralizing activity against Omicron 2-3 months after a Sputnik Light booster in this preliminary laboratory study is higher than VNA against the wild-type virus 6 months after Sputnik V vaccination. Based on these data the expected efficacy of Sputnik V with Sputnik Light booster against Omicron infection could be more than 80%, as Sputnik V showed efficacy of more than 80% against wild-type virus 6 month after vaccination.
  • 100% of individuals revaccinated with Sputnik Light as a booster developed neutralizing antibodies against Omicron and demonstrated their high level 2-3 months after the revaccination in contrast with only 25% of Pfizer booster recipients showing detectable level of neutralizing antibodies 3 month after vaccination (as demonstrated in the study published by research group from scientific institutes including Institute for Medical Virology (Frankfurt) on Dec 13, 2021 [3]).
  • Sputnik Light booster is expected to provide strong protection against infection, severe disease and hospitalization by Omicron. 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 is a universal booster to other vaccines, including Sputnik V. In Argentina, a combination of Sputnik Light with other vaccines has demonstrated its effectiveness as a universal booster inducing stronger antibody and T-cell response compared to a two-shots homologous regimen.
  • Sputnik V and Sputnik Light were developed on the basis of a safe and well-studied over 30 years technology and have not been associated with rare serious side effects as myocarditis or pericarditis.
    • The highest safety and efficacy of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light was demonstrated in more than 30 studies and real-world data publications from more than 10 countries.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this latest announcement by the team behind the Sputnik vaccines? Do all the above details convince you to get a Sputnik vaccine as your first dose or as your booster shot? Has the Omicron variant infected people there in your local community?

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: Omicron-related fear and panic cause several governments to enact mandatory vaccinations

The fear and panic over Omicron is still strong and already several government units reacted heading towards the enactment of mandatory vaccinations, according to a recent CBN News report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the statement published by CBN News. Some parts in boldface…

The World Health Organization admits there has yet to be a single death from the Omicron variant, but that hasn’t stopped some governments–especially in Europe–from using it as another reason to enact mandatory vaccinations.

Here in the U.S., Omicron cases are now confirmed in at least 17 states. 

“We have several dozen cases and we’re following them closely. And we are, every day, hearing about more and more probable cases,” said CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

But so far, Omicron does not seem to be dangerous. Initial studies show it has a similar genetic structure to the common cold, making it more transmissible. But in South Africa, where Omicron first emerged, hospitalizations have not increased significantly.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, “We really need to be careful before we make any determinations, but thus far the signals are a bit encouraging regarding the severity.”

Peter McGinn of Minnesota tested positive for Omicron after a visit to New York City. 

He had been fully vaccinated and received a booster.

“I felt kinda tired. I felt bad for about a day. I did my absolute best to follow the guidelines, I had my mask on the entire time,” McGinn said.

COVID guidelines and restrictions have become a significant issue in Europe, where some nations are requiring citizens to be vaccinated.  And that has sparked massive and sometimes violent demonstrations across the continent.

At a protest in Brussels, a Belgian woman said, “I don’t agree with the mandatory vaccinations because these vaccines, I don’t think they’re great yet. “

A Spanish protestor in Barcelona said, “The dead from COVID-19 are mostly vaccinated people instead of non-vaccinated. That’s in all hospitals.” Another said, “We don’t want the COVID-19 passport. We want freedom. It’s a human right. We don’t want vaccines, neither for us or our children. This is a genocide.”

Austria has announced it plans to become the first country in Europe to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory.  Germany plans on making vaccinations compulsory for some jobs.

European Union leader Ursula von der Leyen says it’s time for the E.U. to discuss a Europe-wide vaccine mandate.

Posted below is the related news video of CBN News…

Omicron also a factor as mentioned by New York City’s outgoing mayor

In the City of New York, the exiting Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his own vaccine mandate for private employers and vaccine passports on the people (including children) according to a separate CBN News report. De Blasio mentioned the Omicron variant as a new factor as well as the cold weather creating additional challenges on dealing with the Delta variant in the city.

The weird thing about the NYC mandate is that the federal private employer mandate has been put on hold. Kathryn Wylde, the head of the business group Partnership for NYC, questioned the mayor’s authority to impose the local mandate on private employers. The United States Representative of Long Island Lee Zeldin called the mandate a “job-killing, small business-suppressing mandate.”

“When you dangerously combine a far-left, lame-duck politician, who is anti-business, one-dimensional, unaccountable, not bright and has a perpetual ‘I always know best’ attitude,’ you get Bill de Blasio, the Worst Mayor in America,” Zeldin further said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about these newest developments overseas related to the Omicron variant? Do you think that the government units from New York City to Europe panicked or overreacted? If you are physically in New York City or Europe right now, did you witness any protests or riots related to the vaccination mandates? Do you believe that the secular, Left-leaning and liberal news outlets magnified the Omicron variant too much and distorted the details to spread fear and panic?

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: Las Piñas City vaccination count exceeds 1 million!

The City Government of Las Piñas achieved another milestone with its COVID-19 vaccination program as the grand total inoculation has exceeded one million! To be exact, the declared count was at 1,016,684 which covers patients of categories A1 to A5, PA3, booster dose, pediatric and the other adult population.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the official statistics released by the City Government online reflecting data collected as of December 2, 2021.

The most recent statistics released.

As seen above, the total number of patients who got the first dose of the vaccine was at 524,405 (82.1% of the to city population and 117.3% of the target population) while those who got the 2nd dose and became fully vaccinated were 477,868 (74.8% of the city population and 106.8 of the target population). Booster shots, which were recently launched for health workers, senior citizens and the immunocompromised patients, reached 14,601.

With the Omicron variant news reports scaring people and even government officials around the world, this latest achievement by Las Piñas City is very notable. The City Government and its strategic partners worked hard to for many months now on ensuring COVID-19 vaccination. Recently the Department of Health (DOH) praise the City Government.

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? Do you think the city’s vaccination count could reach 2,000,000 sometime in 2022?

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: Sputnik vaccines versus Omicron

Have you been injected with a Sputnik vaccine? Are all the rabid news reports about the Omicron variant making you feel uncomfortable? Here is something that you should focus on temporarily – an official statement was recently released claiming that Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines are effective against all variants of SRAC-Cov-2 and they will prove effective in neutralizing the Omicron variant. As if that was not enough, a new version of the Sputnik vaccine is already being developed with Omicron in mind.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the statement published by SputnikVaccine.com. Some parts in boldface…

The Russian Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines have proven to be highly effective against all variants of SARC-Cov-2 known to date. This has been demonstrated by an article published in Vaccines medical journal and international real-world data from numerous countries:

A recent study in Hungary demonstrated Sputnik V vaccine had the highest (98%) efficacy in preventing COVID-related mortality and 85.7% efficacy against coronavirus infection among five vaccines (Sputnik V, Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm) used in the country between January-June 2021. Based on this data, the share of deaths from COVID in the unvaccinated population was 130 times higher than among those vaccinated with Sputnik V in the same period.

According to data from San Marino, Sputnik V is 80% effective against coronavirus infection from 6th to 8th months after administering the second dose, which is much higher than published efficacy of mRNA vaccines of less than 30% after 6 months.

The Sputnik vaccine’s efficacy is based on the heterogeneous boosting approach using two different vectors for two shots, pioneered by the Gamaleya Institute, and a proven adenoviral vector platform, which triggers a broader immune response as compared to mRNA vaccines.

The Gamaleya Institute believes both Sputnik V and Sputnik Light will neutralize the latest Omicron variant and has started the necessary studies.

Nonetheless the Gamaleya Institute, based on existing protocols of immediately developing vaccine versions for variants of concern, has already begun developing the new version of Sputnik vaccine adapted to Omicron. In an unlikely case such modification is needed, the new Sputnik Omicron version can be ready for mass-scale production in 45 days. Several hundred million Sputnik Omicron boosters can be provided to international markets already by Feb 20, 2022 with over 3 billion doses available in 2022.

That was a pretty bold statement there. Sputnik vaccines’ efficacies (preventing COVID-19  mortality and going against coronavirus infections) was compared with four other established brands of COVID-19 vaccines.

With regards to Omicron, there was confidence expressed that the two existing Sputnik vaccines will neutralize the new variant. That sounds great but I would love to see first real test results to prove that. Regardless, Gamaleya proceeded already to develop a newer version of Sputnik vaccine with Omicron in mind and they seem confident they can mass produce it and start releasing it in early 2022. As seen in the above statement, the mass production and release of a Sputnik Omicron vaccine would commence in the unlikely case they need to modify the Sputnik vaccine.

If the current Sputnik vaccines prove to be capable of neutralizing the Omicron variant, then no such production-release scheme of a modified vaccine will be needed. Gamaleya will then have to keep mass producing and sending out doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light worldwide. Already millions of doses of Sputnik V have arrived here in the Philippines and the national government plans to procure more of the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine.

For added insight, watch these related news videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this official statement about Sputnik vaccines and the Omicron variant? If you were fully vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine, how long has it been since your 2nd dose? Is your local government already releasing booster shots? Are you eager to find out if your local government will use Sputnik vaccine as your booster shot? Do you believe that Gamaleya’s statement that the two current Sputnik vaccines will really neutralize the Omicron variant?

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/

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COVID-19 Crisis: Millions of Sputnik V vaccine doses plus 5,000 Sputnik Light vaccine doses in the Philippines

Last week, a few million brand new doses of Sputnik V vaccines arrived here in the Philippines and at the same time, the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine also arrived according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

You must be wondering what the differences between Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are. To understand things better, posted are excerpts about the two vaccines from SputnikVaccine.com for your reference. Some parts in boldface…

About Sputnik V

Sputnik V is the world’s first registered vaccine based on a well-studied human adenovirus vector platform. It has been approved for use in 71 countries with a total population of 4 billion people.

The vaccine is named after the first Soviet space satellite. The launch of Sputnik-1 in 1957 reinvigorated space research around the world, creating a so called “Sputnik moment” for the global community.

The vaccine’s efficacy is 97.6%, based on the analysis of data on the incidence of coronavirus among Russians vaccinated with both vaccine components between December 5, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for the vaccine were completed on August 1, 2020. The Phase 3 clinical trial results were published in Russia in the Lancet magazine on February 2, 2021. Phase 3 clinical trials of Sputnik V have also been successful in the UAE, India, Venezuela and Belarus.

The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a proven well-studied human adenovirus vector platform; these vectors cause the common cold and have plagued humanity for millennia.

Sputnik V was the first coronavirus vaccine to use a heterogeneous boosting approach based on 2 different vectors for 2 vaccine shots. This approach generates a more sustainable immunity compared to vaccines that use the same delivery mechanism for both shots.

The safety, efficacy and lack of long-term adverse effects of adenovirus vaccines have been proven in more than 250 clinical trials over two decades.

Sputnik V does not cause severe allergies.

A storage temperature of +2…+8 °C allows the vaccine to be stored in a regular refrigerator without the need to invest in additional cold chain infrastructure.

Sputnik V is effective against new strains of coronavirus, according to a study by the Gamaleya Research Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology published in the leading international magazine Vaccines.

The vaccine produces protective neutralising antibody titres against new strains, including Alpha B.1.1.7 (first identified in the UK), Beta B.1.351 (first identified in South Africa), Gamma P.1 (first identified in Brazil), Delta B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3 (first identified in India) and variants B.1.1.141 and B.1.1.317 with mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) identified in Moscow.

About Sputnik Light

Sputnik Light is the first component (recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (rAd26)) of Sputnik V – the world’s first registered vaccine against coronavirus.

The Sputnik Light vaccine, like Sputnik V, is based on a proven well-studied human adenovirus vector platform; these vectors cause the common cold and have peacefully coexisted with humanity for millenia.

Safety of Sputnik Light, as the first component of Sputnik V, was confirmed by real-world data from UAE, Bahrain, Argentina, Russia, Mexico, Serbia, San Marino, Philippines, Libya, Paraguay, Hungary, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

Sputnik Light, the first component of Sputnik V, is a safe and approved stand-alone one-shot vaccine. 80% proven efficacy against infection, higher than that of most two-shot vaccines.

Sputnik Light is also a leading booster shot for people previously infected with COVID-19 (and) for revaccinations after Sputnik V or other vaccines.

Sputnik Light as a stand-alone vaccine is highly effective against Delta and other mutations: 70% efficacy against infection by Delta, over 75% efficacy in the age group below 60. Efficacy against hospitalization and severe disease is even higher. Sputnik Light efficacy as a booster will be close to that of two shots of Sputnik V against Delta.

Sputnik Light has a long-lasting protection, which even increases over 4-6 months following the vaccination. Many other vaccines showed dramatic decrease in efficacy against Delta variant to below 50% within the same time period.

Were you about to absorb all the details in the above excerpts? Whatever you think of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light, I recommend you read their respective full articles on the official Sputnik Vaccine website.

And now we can proceed on the recent news about the two Russian vaccines and the Philippines. To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippines plans to procure more of the one-shot Sputnik Light anti-coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine after receiving its first batch, donated by Russia, on Friday.

A total of 5,000 doses of the Sputnik Light vaccine arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2, along with the 2,805,000 doses (1,402,500 doses each of Components I and II) of Sputnik V shots, which were procured by the Philippine government.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said negotiations are underway for the procurement of at least 10 million more doses of Sputnik Light.

“We are confident that these talks would yield positive results as we diversify our vaccine portfolio and scale up our vaccine throughput and achieve herd immunity by the first quarter of 2022,” Galvez said in an interview. “We are very happy that we will be renegotiating again for Sputnik Light.

He said the government would allocate the first batch of the one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which has the lowest vaccination rate among the 17 regions, with about 320,000 fully inoculated out of the 2.9 million target population.

“Ibigay muna natin sa mga hindi pa nakakakuha ng (Let’s give these to those who have yet to get) protection. I believe it is more useful na gamitin itong (to use these) as first dose so we can at least protect na agad ‘yung (right away the) first 5,000,” Galvez said.

He said the latest delivery of 2.8 million doses of Sputnik V completes the government’s procurement contract with the Russian Direct Investment Fund for the supply of 10 million doses.

“The completion of this contract is a testament to the robust relationship between our countries. Moreover, it demonstrates Russia’s strong commitment to helping provide greater vaccine accessibility to all nations, including the Philippines,” Galvez said. “We will be able to protect five million more Filipinos from the fatal effect of the Covid-19 virus and continue to bring down our active caseload and save more lives.”

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Sputnik Light vaccine may be more effective as a booster shot.

“Mukhang maganda for booster iyong Sputnik Light. Mas mahaba daw ang (The Sputnik Light may be better used for booster shots. It gives longer) protection of about eight months beyond,” Duque said in another interview. “We’re going to have our vaccine expert panel review the documents.

Galvez echoed Duque’s statements, saying the Sputnik Light could boost the primary doses that are adenoviral vector-based vaccines, such as AstraZeneca and the similar single-dose Janssen.

“There are many scholars in Jordan saying the Sputnik Light is good. And also, this fits with our heterologous or mix and match of boosters,” he said.

The Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization of the following vaccine brands to include an additional shot – Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Sputnik Light.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? If you have been vaccinated with Sputnik V, how long has it been since your last shot? If you are fully vaccinated already, regardless of vaccine brands, would you be willing to accept a Sputnik vaccine as 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/

COVID-19 Crisis: Over 33 million fully vaccinated people around the Philippines

According to a report by GMA Network, the total number of fully vaccinated people here in the Philippines surpassed 33 million. On face value, the number looks big but in reality, it is only a fraction of the target number of people who are eligible to be vaccinated. Also it should be remembered that the Philippines has an overall population of more than 100 million.

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

About 33.3 million individuals or 39% of the eligible population in the country are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In a radio interview, Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire said the 39% is based on the population who are allowed to get vaccinated, which is around 84 million.

This figure is still far from the government’s target of vaccinating 80% of its 109 million population by May 9, 2022.

The DOH is, however, ramping up the inoculation drive by conducting a three-day national vaccination campaign dubbed as “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” which seeks to administer five million doses daily or a total of 1 million jabs.

Vergeire emphasized that this shall prioritize the unvaccinated individuals, but the DOH has yet to decide if the boosters will be included in this inoculation drive from November 29 to December 1.

“Kaya natin ito ginagawa para maitaas pa ho natin ang fully vaccinated sa ating bansa bago man lang mag-Pasko, bago mag-holiday season. So, that’s our real target–those who are not yet vaccinated,” she said.

(We are doing this to increase the number of fully vaccinated individuals in our country before the Christmas season. Our real target is those who are not yet vaccinated.)

“Ito po ang pinaguusapan sa ngayon ano, if we are going to also have booster shots during this National Vaccination Day. Magbibigay po tayo ng anunsyo kung itutuloy po natin itong booster vaccination during these three days po.”

(We are still discussing if we would include the booster shots during the National Vaccination Day, and if so, we will announce it soon.)

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? If you are a fully vaccinated person, are you anticipating already the eventual booster shot/3rd 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/