COVID-19 Crisis: Department of Health (DOH) and private sector explain wasted vaccines

Do you believe everything the Department of Health (DOH) declared with regards to their handling of COVID-19 here in the Philippines? In recent times, local news organizations published their own reports about something really unfortunate…the expiration of millions of COVID-19 vaccines amounting to an estimated P15.6 billion. Think about that carefully. Many billions of Pesos worth of COVID-19 vaccines wasted! The DOH and the private sector (represented by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion) separately explained their sides of the huge loss.

So how does the DOH explain the tremendous loss of COVID-19 vaccines? To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the news report of Malaya Business Insight. Some parts in boldface…

THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday defended the high number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines that have been wasted and has recently become the subject of the ire of some senators.

In a press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said it is not out of the ordinary to have 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines wasted if compared to the experiences of other countries.

“It is not just the Philippines that is experiencing this kind of situation in terms of logistics and supplies,” said Vergeire.

We are seeing more and more that the other countries are having this kind of expirations or wastage of vaccines,” she added without elaborating.

The DOH officer-in-charge added that the 31.3 million doses of wasted vaccines is within the threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The DOH has previously acknowledged that the total vaccine wastage in the country is 12.5 percent of the total 250.38 million doses, or 31.3 million.

“The (WHO) specifically said that because of (the) evolving nature of the pandemic, it (allowed vaccine wastage percentage) is around 25 to 30 percent,” Vergeire said.

The Philippines considers this as being still within that level that is acceptable,” Vergeire said in defense of the 12.5 percent wastage rate.

Last week, Sen. Pia Cayetano revealed that about 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were either wasted or not used in the country.

Among the reasons cited for the wastage of vaccines were expiration, short shelf life, damage due to natural disaster as well as damage due to temperature, discoloration, and having particulate or floating matters.

In relation to the tremendous loss of COVID-19 vaccines, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion explained the private sector’s side as reported by the Manila Bulletin. Posted below is an excerpt with some parts in boldface…

The private sector has no control over the Covid-19 vaccines donated to the government, which included 70 percent of wasted vaccines from the private sector.

This was reiterated by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The majority of the wasted Covid-19 vaccines in the Philippines were not under the safekeeping of the private sector,” he said in a statement.

Concepcion shared tallies of its Covid-19 vaccine inventories showing that of the total 23,516,990 doses that the private sector secured through a tripartite agreement with government and the vaccine manufacturers, 9,398,230 doses have expired.

This figure includes the 2,834,495 doses it donated to local governments.

The inventory, however, does not include other private sector initiatives, but Concepcion pointed out that these, too, would be under the custody of the government.

According to Concepcion, the private sector has noted that there have been gaps in the government’s monitoring and reporting of the inventory, especially of the vaccines that it donated as part of the tripartite agreement.

He explained that because Covid-19 vaccines are still under Emergency Use Authorization, only the government can engage in their purchase and administration, including assessing how many more it needed to buy and add to the private sector donations.

The government, he added, also conducts inventory on vaccines nearing their expiry dates so that it can be used first before procuring more.

Among the factors cited by the government as contributing to the wastage of the vaccines were short shelf life and temperature excursion. It also noted from its inventories that some vials were not opened or used at all.

“Private sector has always been proactive in pushing for vaccinations,” said Concepcion. “In fact we were the ones asking the HTAC (Health Technology Assessment Council) to adopt the US FDA guidelines just so we can speed up the booster vaccinations,” he said.

In July, millions of Covid-19 vaccines worth billions of pesos expired just days after second boosters were allowed for adults 50 years and older, and those 18 to 49 years with comorbidities.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this latest series of developments? Do you believe the ways DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained the waste of over thirty million COVID-19 vaccines? Do you find the vaccine waste acceptable at all knowing that they are worth over P15 billion? Do you still trust the DOH on how they are handling the COVID-19 situation in the country not to mention how their policies impacted your private lives and livelihood? Do you think it is time for the national government to end the Emergency Use Authorization on COVID-19 vaccines so that vaccination operations will be improved and the reduction of vaccine wastage could happen?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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

Kadiwa bazaar in Muntinlupa City nets over P530,000 in first two days

In the progressive city of Muntinlupa, the Kadiwa bazaar held at the quadrangle at City Hall generated over P530,000 in sales in the first two days, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. The said bazaar is a special project involving the City Government, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Agriculture (DAR), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

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

The two-day Kadiwa Christmas bazaar at the Muntinlupa City hall quadrangle generated nearly P536,000 in sales to sellers.

The Kadiwa bazaar, an initiative of the Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Muntinlupa City government, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Social Welfare and Development, was held on Nov. 15 and 16.

Showcasing different Muntinlupa-made products, the Kadiwa bazaar was launched by Mayor Ruffy Biazon and DTI Asst. Sec. Dominic Tolentino on Nov. 15.

According to Biazon, “Gusto natin ma-promote ang produkto ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, dahil tayo ay proud (We want to promote Muntinlupa-made products because we are very proud of them).”

“Ang sagot sa kaunlaran ay nagkakaisang mamamayan (A united citizenry contributes to a progressive economy),” said Tolentino, a Muntinlupa resident.

On the first day, the bazaar generated P326,421 in sales and P209,223 on Nov. 16 for a total of P535,644 in two days.

Other officials at the launch of KADIWA were City Administrator Allan Cachuela, DA-ESO head Marilou Lobo, Alabang Central Market Administrator Randy Garcia, and Cristine Evangelista of DTI.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this development? Do you want to see more bazaars in the city selling more Muntinlupa-made products? Are you more confident now to spend time in bazaars or shopping centers knowing that COVID-19 can be avoided? Are the recent news reports highlighting the Department of Health’s (DOH) recent statements about COVID-19 infections making you afraid to go out?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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

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

Maynilad officially distributing “New Water” in two barangays in Parañaque City

Months after the launch of their “New Water” project, water concessionaire Maynilad has finally started the distribution of the said water in two barangays within the City of Parañaque according to the company’s official announcement.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from Maynilad’s official announcement. Some parts in boldface…

West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) recently started the piped-in distribution of its New Water—or potable supply sourced from treated used water—to two barangays in Parañaque City following its receipt of a Conditional Operational Permit (COP) from the Department of Health (DOH) Metro Manila Center for Health Development.

The COP was issued by the DOH after New Water passed a series of tests that proved its adherence to the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water (PNSDW) and squarely met the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on potable reuse. The permit is valid for 12 months, and will be changed to a permanent permit once Maynilad consistently meets all the conditions set in the COP on the supply of New Water within the period, under the strict monitoring of DOH. Prior to the COP issuance, New Water has already been given a Certificate of Potability by the Parañaque City Health Office.

Maynilad’s New Water is the first implementation of potable water reuse in the Philippines.

“The DOH’s issuance of a permit to commence piped-in distribution of New Water is a major milestone for the local water industry, as this is the first time that recycled water will be tapped as an alternative supply source to address water shortages,” said Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez, noting that the recycling of water for potable use is a practice that has been in place for decades in other countries, such as Singapore, Namibia, and parts of the United States.

Maynilad’s Php450-million “New Water Treatment Plant” gets the treated used water discharged by its Parañaque Water Reclamation Facility and converts it to drinkable water supply. The facility’s 10-MLD (million liters per day) output is blended with the supply produced by the company’s La Mesa Treatment Plants before conveyance to Barangays San Isidro and San Dionisio in Parañaque City.

Fernandez said that Maynilad is eyeing to construct four more “New Water Treatment Plants” by 2025, which will get treated used water from the company’s sewage treatment plants in Pasay, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Valenzuela.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Maynilad customer based in Parañaque City, does this New Water distribution news make you forget about the other problems you have with the water concessionaire? Do you think that Maynilad’s New Water project will solve public demand for drinking water? If you are running a business that sells water to customers who need to drink, how do you think Maynilad’s New Water project will affect your business? Do you think Maynilad will distribute New Water all over Parañaque City within the next six months? Has anyone linked with the City Government of Parañaque given you the false impression that the New Water project belonged to the City Government?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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

Las Piñas City Wins Awards for Efficient Healthcare and Outstanding Compliance on Utilizing DOH Funding

This past weekend, the City Government of Las Piñas announced the good news that they won two awards for efficient healthcare programs as well as outstanding financial compliance related to the utilization of funding from the Department of Health (DOH).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the City Government’s social media post. Some parts in boldface…

Local Government Officials of Las Piñas City gather at the 35th Anniversary of the Department of Health Metro Manila Center for Health Development and the recognition ceremony of cities with high quality of service.

The City of Las Piñas was given recognition for its outstanding financial compliance in efficiently utilizing DOH’s funding and its prompt and correct liquidation.

Las Piñas was also awarded a plaque of appreciation for its support for different healthcare programs providing equitable access to quality and affordable health care goods and services in accordance with universal health care.

Present at the event were City Vice Mayor April Aguilar and several doctors of the City Health Office headed by OIC Health Officer Dr. Juliana Gonzales.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Las Piñas City resident, what is your reaction to this recent achievement by the City Government? Do the awards convince you that the City Government is truly disciplined and working efficiently on serving the constituents?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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

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: President Marcos approves optional use of face masks outdoors

After much online buzz that was created in reaction to the recommendation by the Inter-Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., finally approved an executive order (EO) that allows the optional use of face masks outdoors according to an announcement published through the Philippine News Agency (PNA). In other words, what the IATF recommended is quickly becoming a new policy but there are key details that need to be read closely.

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

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has approved an executive order (EO) allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings, particularly in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation.

“Naglabas po tayo today ng Executive Order No. 3 (We have released EO No. 3) allowing voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings and reiterating the continued implementation of minimum public health standards during the state of public health emergency relating to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles announced in a Palace press briefing.

She said the EO, signed by the President on Monday, will be effective immediately.

This order shall take effect immediately upon its publication in the OG [Official Gazette] or newspaper of general circulation. Nasa OG na po siya (It has been published in the OG),” she said.

Under the EO, those who have yet to complete their primary Covid-19 vaccination series, senior citizens, and immunocompromised persons are still “highly encouraged” to use face masks.

Cruz-Angeles said physical distancing and other minimum public health standards (MPHS) will also continue to be strictly enforced.

“The voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation is hereby allowed provided that not fully vaccinated individuals, senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear their masks and physical distancing will be observed at all times,” she added.

The EO still requires face masks to be worn in indoor, private or public establishments, including in public transportation by land, air or sea and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

“Tuloy pa rin po ang other (We will continue adhering to other) minimum public health standards intended to effectively prevent and minimize the spread of Covid-19 in the country. It shall continue to be implemented consistent with the principles of shared accountability, evidence-based decision making, socio economic equity and rights-based approach,” Cruz-Angeles said.

She said the EO also directs the Department of Health (DOH) to update the MPHS guidelines.

Open to feedback

Cruz-Angeles said the voluntary wearing of face masks will be implemented in phases or stages to gather feedback from health authorities.

We’re doing this in stages, in phases so that we can have feedback on whether or not these new policies are working and how to make them more efficient so that hopefully by the end of the year we might be able to be voluntarily masked indoors as well,” she said.

She said the policy will be reviewed if the voluntary face mask policy would cause an increase in Covid-19 cases.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the entire Philippines and its many local government units (LGUs) are ready to comply with the new policy approved by President Marcos? If you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19, do you seriously see yourself using face masks extensively in the future? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics will spread fear and distort information related to the new policy that allows the optional use of face masks in outdoor settings? With the way things are right now, have you grown sick and tired of using face masks each time you go outdoors?

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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. 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: Cebu City Government sets voluntary face mask policy on trial period until December 2022

In recent times here in the Philippines, Cebu City has been getting a lot of attention with regards to the COVID-19 crisis we are all living with. This was because the City Government decided to loosen the face mask mandate within the city’s jurisdiction and the Department of Health (DOH) claimed that they were “never consulted” about it. Just yesterday, GMA Network reported that the City Government of Cebu announced that the voluntary face mask policy will be set on a trial period until the end of 2022. In case a COVID-19 surge, the said policy will be lifted automatically. Already, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has its attention on Cebu City.

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

The Cebu City government on Monday announced that its voluntary face mask policy will be on trial period until December 2022, and will be automatically lifted should there be a surge in COVID-19 infections in the city.

In reading the Executive Order (EO) No. 6, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama’s spokesperson Karla Henry-Ammann said that the trial period of the EO 5 which lifted the mandatory face mask use in the city, was set from September 1 to December 31, 2022.

The same period is hereby referred to as the trial and observation period,” she added.

Further, Ammann said the EO will be automatically lifted and the wearing of face masks in the city will be mandatory anew if there will be a surge of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City, as verified by the government.

Rama signed the EO on Monday during the city government’s flag ceremony.

Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge (OIC) Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday said they were not consulted regarding the lifting of the mandatory face mask policy in Cebu City.

Vergeire stressed there will be a higher risk of infections in an area if the safeguards against COVID-19 are not in place.

The above article ended by stating that Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said they respect the mandate of the local government units (LGUs) over their respective jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, the Manila Times published an article regarding Cebu City’s move on loosening the face mask policy and the need for health experts to update the face mask policy. Posted below is an excerpt. Some parts in boldface…

CEBU City’s attempt to relax the rules on the wearing of face masks draws attention to an attribute needed in policymaking. That is, the crafting and tweaking of policies should keep pace with how quickly situations change. We remain firm in the belief that science, or more specifically medical expertise, should take the lead in devising the policies concerning Covid-19. But people struggle to understand why they take so long to adjust to developments.

Perhaps officials in Cebu have grown impatient with the national government, more specifically the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Last week, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama issued an executive order making the wearing of face masks in open spaces optional. But he later delayed the implementation of the order after talking to Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. Abalos promised the mayor that he would bring up the need to review the health protocols with the task force.

Mr. Abalos sounded inclined to allow Mayor Rama’s executive order. The secretary said in a statement: “In fact, I am going to even further suggest to make Cebu City the pilot implementer of this measure since the city has always been first in espousing non-masking policies outdoors for the ease and benefit of its people amid the pandemic.”

The point in delaying the new order in Cebu seems to be about “harmonizing existing laws and policies” regarding the lingering pandemic. The problem is that the situation is not uniform across the country. Also, the Philippines has opened up its borders to tourists and foreign travelers, including those who come from countries where wearing face masks are no longer required. And doing so has not caused a spike in new or imported Covid-19 cases.

Indeed, a review of health protocols seems overdue. Earlier in June, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia clashed with national health authorities when she issued an executive order that allowed people not to wear face masks in open areas, like beaches and mountain trails. Her decision seemed sensible then, and so does the similar order issued by Cebu City.

Perhaps, the national government should listen more to local officials. They should consider giving them more discretion in setting health guidelines for their respective areas of concern.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction this latest series of developments? Do you think Cebu City’s approach on loosening the face mask policy within their jurisdiction makes sense? Do you believe that the national authorities – including the DOH itself – should listen more to the local government and provincial government leaders on how to deal with COVID-19 and implement health protocols? Do you think that the remaining restrictions are outdated and don’t make sense anymore? Do you think Cebu City’s move on loosening the face mask policy will succeed and inspire other LGUs – especially in Metro Manila – to follow suit? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics and other anti-authoritarian activists will make moves to ruin the authorities’ moves on dealing with COVID-19?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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: Synchronized vaccination in Las Piñas City public markets

In the city of Las Piñas, the local authorities’ efforts to vaccinate more people for COVID-19 was ramped up as synchronized vaccination operations were done in two public markets, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

The Las Piñas city government conducted synchronized vaccinations against Covid-19 in two public markets on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in preparation for the return to full face-to-face classes in November.

Mayor Imelda Aguilar said the synchronized Covid-19 vaccination was conducted at Suki Market in Barangay Talon I and at the Zapote Public Market in Barangay Zapote.

Aguilar urged all Las Piñeros to get their Covid-19 primary doses and booster shots.

She said the city government launched the PinasLakas vaccination program of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Aug 15 prior to the opening of classes.

Paul San Miguel, head of the Public Information Office, said the Department of Health (DOH) and the Las Piñas School Division launched a back-to-back school vaccination booster drive to protect the students against the disease.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Las Piñas City resident, how do you feel about this recent development? Do you think that local vaccination efforts are sufficient to help local residents get vaccinated? Have you thought about visiting a vaccination site at a public market? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics will ruin the City Government’s efforts on having more locals vaccinated?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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

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: Omicron-adapted vaccines may generate more immunity

As it is no secret that the Omicron variant and its own subvariants proved to be more infectious, COVID-19 vaccines that have been formulated specifically against Omicron are key to help the nation’s population become more immune and bring down the number of new COVID-19 infections. The talk about Omicron-adapted vaccines came up recently as reported by the Manila Bulletin.

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

Vaccines that specifically target the Omicron variant of Covid-19 may generate more immunity and minimize the severity of the infectious disease in the Philippines, a vaccine expert said on Monday, Aug. 15.

The Department of Health (DOH) previously expressed its plan to procure Omicron-adapted vaccines from other countries once available. Backing this decision, Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) Chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani said that these variant-adapted vaccines will be beneficial to the Philippines, considering that the dominant variants in the country are BA.4 and BA.5.

“Sa ngayon, ang umiikot na variant sa atin ay BA.4 and BA.5. Kung ibibigay natin itong bagong vaccine in a bivalent form ay mas makakatulong ito na mas mag generate ng immunity against the specific variant na [nasa bansa]. Ito ang basehan nila kaya gusto nilang magbigay ng variant-specific vaccine (Right now, the dominant variants we have are BA.4 and BA.5. If we give this new vaccine in a bivalent form, it will help generate more immunity against the specific variant in the country. This is their basis that is why they want to provide a variant-specific vaccine),” said Gloriani in a “Laging Handa” public briefing.

An Omicron-adapted vaccine, according to Gloriani, has two forms: monovalent and bivalent. Monovalent vaccines are the variant-adapted ones, which means that it specifically targets Omicron and its sub variants. Bivalent, on the other hand, targets both the original strain of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant.

Asked when the Philippines could procure this vaccine, the expert said that it may take a few months as the vaccines need to undergo authorization before it may be declared safe for jabs.

Take note that in recent times, more patients have been declared by the Department of Health (DOH) eligible to get the 2nd booster shot and all local government units (LGUs) nationwide have been ordered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ramp up their local vaccine/booster operations. The City Government of Muntinlipa has started expanding its vaccine hubs.

The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) declared the Omicron BA.5 subvariant as the predominant sample they have sequenced. With regards to ensuring effective immunity against Omicron, it would be helpful for the Philippines to acquire a lot more new doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light (read and find out by clicking here, here, here, here, and here). At the same time, the national authorities should give people an update about the current status of whatever supplies they still have about COVID-19 vaccines.

Let me end this by asking you readers: Do you want to see the national authorities import a lot of Omicron-adapted vaccines as soon as possible? What is the one thing about Omicron and its subvariants that concern you the most right now? Do you happen to personally know an anti-vaccine fanatic who has been working on spreading lies and misinformation around the Philippines? Do you think that terrorists and anarchists from overseas are funding the anti-vaccine movement of the Philippines?

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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. 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: PinasLakas launched in Las Piñas City

As the Philippines averaged over four thousand new COVID-19 cases per day during the period of August 7 to 14, 2022, the efforts to immunize more people in the City of Las Piñas went some notches higher as the City Government launched PinasLakas program, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

The Las Piñas City government launched the PinasLakas vaccination program of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos to prepare the students for the resumption of face-to-face classes (F2F) in November.

According to Paul San Miguel, chief of Public Information Office (PIO), the Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) Las Piñas School Division Office launched a back-to-school vaccination booster drive on Aug. 15.

San Miguel said the City Health Office (CHO) reported to Mayor Imelda Aguilar that about 52% of the 5-11 age group were completely vaccinated.

The city is targeting to complete the primary vaccination and booster shots of the 12 to 17 years old before the opening of classes.

The mayor said after completing the vaccination of the younger population, the city government will conduct the booster shot vaccination in the markets, terminals, and worship places to make all the residents protected against the Covid-19 virus.

Alelee Aguilar-Andanar, daughter of the mayor; Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Joel T. Torrecampo; Las Piñas City Health Office Technical Officer Dr. Emily S. Calinisan; DOH MMCHD Regional Director Gloria J. Balboa; and officials of Las Piñas public schools were present during the launching of PinasLakas.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Las Piñas City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Are members of your local community now aware about the PinasLakas campaign in the city? Are the parents in your local community willing to have their children vaccinated for COVID-19? Did an anti-vaccine fanatic approach and bombard you with lies, distortion and misinformation lately?

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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. 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: Philippine Genome Center declares Omicron subvariant BA.5 as the most predominant sample sequenced

The Philippines continues to count thousands of new COVID-19 cases daily (4,701 on August 5, 2022) and the Department of Health (DOH) stated that the situation may get even worse by the end of this month. In relation to these matters, the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) declared the Omicron BA.5 subvariant as the most predominant sample they have sequenced, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

In the past month alone, Omicron subvariant BA.5 has been the “most predominant” sample sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC), it said on Monday, Aug. 8.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, PGC Executive Director Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma stated that it was “anywhere above 85 percent” of the sequenced samples. According to Saloma, there are only a few cases of BA.2.3 which was the dominant one back in January this year.

As of August 5, DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said there were 95 new BA.5 cases detected. Of these cases, 67 were from Davao Region, 25 from Soccsksargen, and one case each from Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and the National Capital Region.

“We can probably say that this current wave is really the BA.5 wave in the country,” Saloma stated.

In line with this, she added that with the dominance of BA.5, they have recorded multiple cases of BA.5.2. She explained that in the United States and Europe what’s dominant is BA.5.1.

Currently, PGC has three facilities. The main office is in Diliman, Quezon City, another in PGC Visayas and in PGC Mindanao which all conducts whole genome sequencing.

In Diliman, Saloma said that they process 750 samples a week; 300 in Visayas, and 100 and Mindanao. PGC roughly sequences 1,100 to 1,200 cases weekly. The actual sequencing process lasts for 2 to 3 days. But according to her, from getting the samples up to releasing the results, it usually takes 5 to 6 days.

Meanwhile, she reported that there are no new cases of BA.2.75. DOH reported last Aug. 2 two cases of Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 in the country. Vergeire said that these two cases were from Western Visayas.

Months ago, the Omicron subvariant was the major problem and now its subvariants or mutated forms are impacting public health around the world. Already local government units (LGUs) have been ordered to ramp up the local vaccination and booster rollouts in connection with the new infections believed to have been caused by Omicron BA.5 subvariant.

In relation to the recent developments, I urge you readers to inform the members of your local community to get vaccinated or boosted to truly achieve improved resistance against COVID-19. Be encouraged to contact your local vaccination site or the local authorities to get yourselves immunized from COVID-19. Be aware that more previously boosted patients were declared eligible to have access to the 2nd booster shot and you might be among those who qualified. Also, do not forget to follow health protocols and prioritize your outdoor trips. Never let the anti-vaccine fanatics fool you, even if they become violent and/or more aggressive towards you with their lying, hypnotizing propaganda and fear tactics.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the Philippine Genome Center’s findings about the Omicron subvariant BA.5? Does the said subvariant make you feel afraid to go out knowing how infectious it is? Have you received your 2nd booster shot already? Did anyone from the anti-vaccine fanatics approach you recently?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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