COVID-19 Crisis: All LGUs ordered to ramp up vaccination and booster drive as Omicron cases increase

Does your local government unit (LGU) seem to be working sluggishly with regards to the local vaccination and booster drive for COVID-19? The local authorities should improve their performance on immunizing the locals as the Department of the Local and Interior Government (DILG) headed by Secretary Benhur Abalos has officially ordered all LGUs nationwide to ramp up the vaccination and booster rollouts, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos Jr. directed on Saturday, July 30, all local government units (LGUs) to step-up their Covid-19 vaccination and booster inoculation efforts amid the rising number of 890 Omicron BA.5 subvariant infection in the country.

The DILG is one with PBBM (President Bongbong Marcos) as we altogether aim for improved booster inoculation, hence, we direct all LGUs to ramp up their vaccination drives and encourage the eligible segment of the population to take advantage of the protection the booster shots offer,” Abalos said.

He said LGUs are integral in communicating the importance of boosters to overcome vaccination hesitancy and increase the number of eligible citizens that are boosted.

“Inaasahan ko ang pakikiisa ng bawat LGU upang mas paigtingin ang pagpapa-booster sa kanilang mga lokalidad. Alam nila ang pulso ng kanilang nasasakupan, kaya mas maipararating nila ang ating mensahe na ito (Covid-19 vaccines and boosters) ay ligtas at isa sa pinakamabisa nating sandata laban sa Covid-19 (I expect the cooperation of the LGUs to enhance the booster campaign in their localities. They know the sentiments of their turfs that is why they can send the message that it is safe and one of the most effective weapons against Covid-19),’’ he added.

As of July 25, only 15.9 million have received their booster doses out of the 71.5 million who are already fully vaccinated.

Intensified vaccination efforts

Abalos, in the DILG Memorandum dated July 15, 2022, directed LGUs to ramp up their vaccination efforts and instructs them to urge and reach out to all their unvaccinated and booster-eligible constituents; address vaccine hesitancy, particularly in rural and far-flung areas; bridge the gap between vaccination services and communities to make it easier for the people to get inoculated; and, avoid vaccine wastage by ensuring that all available vaccines are administered in their respective areas.

Now is the best time to get vaccinated and boosted as we continue to move forward and prepare for the full conduct of face-to-face classes which is already near. Let us all do our part in achieving the protection population that can ultimately benefit the whole Filipino citizenry,” Abalos insisted.

The DILG secretary also urged LGUs to support the Department of Health’s (DOH) PinasLakas (Enhancement) campaign which was launched on July 26, 2022.

PinasLakas is the revitalized government Covid-19 vaccination and booster campaign that aims to achieve the government’s targets of vaccinating 90 percent of senior citizens and boosting 50 percent of the eligible population in the first 100 days of the administration.

It also highlights the unity between government agencies, LGUs, the health sector, the private sector and other key organizations towards Covid-19 population protection.

“Hinihikayat ko po ang lahat ng LGUs na makiisa sa PinasLakas upang mas lalong maprotektahan ang ating ating senior citizens at lumakas ang immunity ng eligible population (I am encouraging all the LGUs to support the PinasLakas to further protect our senior citizens and strengthen the immunity of the eligible population),’’ Abalos said.

Take note that in recent times, more patients have been declared by the Department of Health (DOH) eligible to get the 2nd booster shot. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. already declared that no lockdown will be declared as his administration has a COVID-19 exit strategy is already being developed.

Let me end this by asking you readers: Has your LGU been doing a bad job organizing COVID-19 vaccination operations? Do you believe that the anti-vaccine fanatics fooled your local government officials with their misinformation and lies? Has your local government been issuing 2nd booster shots to the comorbid patients (18-49 years old) and adults aged 50-above? Do you believe that the anti-vaccine fanatics will organize another misinformation campaign drive now that they know the DILG ordered LGUs nationwide to ramp up vaccination and booster rollouts? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics sold their souls to anarchists, terrorists and fascist figures?

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/.

COVID-19 Crisis: President Marcos says the wearing of face masks would become optional if booster shot campaign succeeds

If you are sick or tired of wearing face masks after enduring more than two years of this COVID-19 crisis we are still living with, you are not alone. Recently, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. stated that the wearing of face masks would become optional if the booster shot campaign succeeds, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

Wearing of face masks would become optional if the government’s booster shot drive against Covid-19 succeeds, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said.

Marcos, however, said that easing of restrictions to that extent would be a long shot as his administration attempts to duplicate the national vaccination rollout done last year.

“[L]et us return to the idea of what we did last year na magkaroon ulit ng (to have another) vaccine rollout. Gawin na natin ito para makatiyak na tayo (Let’s do this now so we can be assured),” the President said in his virtual speech during his supposed face-to-face meeting with local government units officials in Malacañang on Friday night, July 8.

At pagka maging matagumpay ang ating booster rollout ay makikita naman natin siguro puwede na nating ibaba ang mga alert level, puwede na nating gawing optional ang mask (And if the booster rollout succeeds, perhaps we can lower the alert level and make wearing of mask optional),” Marcos added.

The Chief Executive stressed that making the wearing of masks optional will not be enforced until it’s crystal clear that it will be safe to do so in order to prevent the return of surging cases in the country.

“Pero hindi po natin gagawin ‘yan hanggang maliwanag na maliwanag na safe na talaga. Dahil although so far maganda naman ang takbo, hindi naman napupuno ang mga ospital. Ngunit kung hindi tayo maingat, mapupunta na naman tayo doon (But we will not do that yet until it is very clear that it’s already safe. Because although, so far, hospitals are not overwhelmed, if we don’t remain cautious, we will again go back there),” Marcos said.

The government is planning to implement a booster rollout for children in an attempt to fully open schools for face-to-face classes before the year ends.

Making the wearing of face masks optional is a new challenge not just for the national government but also for the provincial government units and local government units that are doing their respective parts in the fight against COVID-19. In recent times, it was reported that more than 70 million people nationwide got fully vaccinated (2 doses of most COVID-19 vaccines) while more than 15 million got their first booster shot.

I personally support the idea of intensifying the booster shot campaign as only a minority of the fully vaccinated patients got boosted. That being said, it would also be good for the country if only the Department of Health (DOH) would officially declare more boosted patients (including the comorbid patients among them) eligible to get their 2nd booster shots, especially if more than six months had passed since the first booster shot was administered to them. Clearly, more COVID-19 vaccination sites need to be set up on the local level to ensure better immunization. In fact, the vaccination sites that got closed down need to be reopened. As for the national government, they need to release COVID-19 vaccines that are nearing expiration. Let me add that the national daily count of new COVID-19 cases exceeded 2,000.

Let me end this by asking you readers: Do you desire that the national government and other government units nationwide would declare the wearing of face masks optional? What do you think the DOH should do next in order to allow more patients to get their first or second booster shots? Are the anti-vaccine fanatics out there still bothering you or even harassing you? Do you realize that the anti-vaccine fanatics offer no real solutions to the COVID-19 problems of our nation?

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: 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: According to two studies, Omicron variant causes less severe symptoms while being more resistant to Pfizer’s vaccine

News reports about the Omicron variant continue to scare people and their respective authorities around the world. To cut through all the noise and fear made by the secular liberal media outlets and their Leftist activists working as journalists, it’s time we pay attention to specific details about the Omicron variant with regards to infection and reaction towards the COVID-19 vaccine of Pfizer, as reported by CBN News.

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

The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus appears to cause less severe symptoms than earlier variants of COVID-19, but it’s also more resistant to the Pfizer vaccine, according to two new studies.

A Center for Disease Control study (CDC), published Friday, looked at 43 people with the confirmed strain.

The five-page report shows the most common symptoms are cough, fatigue, congestion, or runny nose lasting around three days.

More than 58% of those surveyed were young people between 18 and 39 years old. And 79% of those infected with the variant were vaccinated, including 14 people who had received a booster dose. In addition, 16% had been infected with COVID-19 before.

Only one person who was vaccinated was hospitalized.

Findings from a much larger study by Discovery Health revealed the Pfizer vaccine is less responsive to the Omicron variant.

Discovery Health is South Africa’s largest health insurance provider and the group looked at 78,000 cases of this particular variant between Nov. 15 and Dec. 7.

According to study findings, the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination provides 70% protection against hospitalization from Omicron but only 33% protection against a COVID-19 infection from this highly contagious variant.

Ryan Noach, Discovery Health’s chief executive, said the variant is more transmissible despite lower hospitalization rates.

“The omicron-driven fourth wave has a significantly steeper trajectory of new infections relative to prior waves,” he said in a statement. “National data show an exponential increase in both new infections and test positivity rates during the first three weeks of this wave, indicating a highly transmissible variant with rapid community spread of infection.”

“What is encouraging at this stage is a flatter trajectory of hospital admissions indicating likely lower severity of this wave,” he told a news briefing later.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky described their agency’s smaller study as a starting point.

“I know we all remain concerned about where we are in the pandemic both with delta and now with the omicron variant,” she said during the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing. “CDC has been actively addressing and evaluating the omicron variant and working with state and local jurisdictions to understand its spread.”

As seen in the above report, the two separate studies revealed key aspects of the Omicron variant: it has caused mild symptoms and among the forty-three people who got infected by the variant, one patient (described as vaccinated although it’s not clear as to how many doses were injected) got hospitalized. The other finding about Pfizer’s vaccine being less responsive to Omicron is more concerning as it is a fact that many millions of people around the world got vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech. In a somewhat related move, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 pill could work against Omicron.

Going back to vaccines, the team behind Sputnik vaccines of Russia declared their current vaccines are effective against all variants, that they will prove to be effective against the Omicron variant, and they went ahead developing a new version of their vaccine with Omicron in mind. Here in the Philippines, the Omicron variant has been detected for the first time. Prior to the confirmation of the first two Omicron cases, the daily average of new COVID-19 infections remained in the hundreds and only 235 new cases were counted on December 14, which is the lowest count since May 2020. The Philippines also has over 40 million people fully vaccinated and a lot more people are able to move around in public and support the many struggling businesses as community restrictions have been eased. As of this writing, it remains to be seen if the Omicron variant will somehow cause a spike in the daily average count of new COVID-19 cases.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about these newest developments related to the Omicron variant? If you were injected with a Pfizer-made vaccine, what can you say about the recent study that found the said vaccine to be less responsive to the Omicron variant? What is the one aspect about Omicron that concerns you the most right now?

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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Cover photo used in this article was sourced from CBN News.

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: Muntinlupa vaccinates more than 8,000 individuals on Day 2 of “Bakunahan Bayanihan” campaign

On the second day of the “Bakunahan Bayanihan” National Vaccination Days campaign, the City Government of Muntinlupa has reached its daily target on vaccination coverage anew with more than 8,000 individuals inoculated.

The Muntinlupa City Health Office (CHO) recorded at least 8,265 individuals to have been vaccinated last November 30, above its target range of 5,000 – 8,000 vaccinees per day. Of the total, 5,855 individuals are from the adult population, 2,343 are from the pediatric “well-child” population (12-17 years old), while 67 are pediatric A3 (with co-morbidities).

Recently, Muntinlupa has also reached its daily target for the first day of the mass immunization campaign with 7,287 individuals vaccinated.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi visited local vaccination sites on Tuesday and urged unvaccinated Muntinlupeños to participate in the three-day national vaccination campaign.

Further, the City Government has sent a team to Cabuyao, Laguna to assist in their local vaccination rollout. Other Metro Manila LGUs have also deployed teams to other cities and municipalities outside the region.

NTF Against COVID-19 medical consultant Dr. Ma. Paz Corrales and Cabuyao City Health Officer Dr. Elena Diamante extended their thanks to Mayor Fresnedi and the city government for its assistance to the local vaccination operations.

The Muntinlupa vaccination team deployed in Cabuyao has inoculated more than 1,000 residents on the first day of the campaign rollout.

The National COVID-19 Vaccination Days campaign is launched by the Department of Health (DOH) to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination coverage and mobilize stakeholders from every sector to support the national government’s goal of giving Filipinos a safe and healthy Christmas.

Muntinlupa has opened all major and satellite vaccinations sites from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The major sites are SM Center Muntinlupa, Ayala Malls South Park, Festival Mall, Cupang Health Center, and Sucat Covered Court, while the satellite vaccination sites are Buli Health Center, Bayanan Unit 1 Elementary School, Poblacion Health Center, Southville 3 Covered Court, and Victory Health Center. The city-run Ospital ng Muntinlupa is also open for vaccination.

As of November 26, the Muntinlupa CoVid-19 Vaccination Program (MunCoVac) announced that 409,637 Muntinlupeños (106.2% of target) have been vaccinated with at least one dose while 340,699 (88.3% of the target) have been fully vaccinated.

Of the total number of individuals vaccinated, at least 17,521 (first dose) and 10,659 (second dose) were inoculated in Muntinlupa private companies. The city has also administered at least 2,285 booster shots for the qualified priority groups.

Meanwhile, the city also recorded a dip in active cases with only 32 cases as of November 30. Two barangays, Putatan and Cupang, have logged zero cases. By barangay, Tunasan has 1 active case, Poblacion has 13 cases, Bayanan has 1 case, Alabang has 7 cases, Ayala Alabang has 4 cases, Buli has 1 case, and Sucat has 5 cases.

To date, Muntinlupa has 27,564 confirmed cases, 26,954 recoveries, 578 reported deaths, 17 suspect cases, and 382 probable cases.

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The above information was sourced from an official press release. Some parts were changed for this website.

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@twitter.com 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: 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: New isolation facility to open soon in Las Piñas City

Even as the City Government of Las Piñas continues with its COVID-19 (China virus) vaccination program, the Manila Bulletin reported recently that the local authorities announced that a brand new isolation facility will open soon.

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

Mayor Imelda Aguilar said the new isolation facility will be called the Ligtas Center 2 located along Talon Dos with a 120- bed capacity.

Aguilar said the city government has two existing isolation facilities — Ligtas I located in Barangay Daniel Fajardo with 100 beds, and Ligtas 3 located in Barangay Almanza Dos with 88 beds.

She said the City Health Office (CHO) reported that due to the city government’s intensification of its isolation efforts, Ligtas 1 is already 70 percent occupied while Ligtas 3 now has an 85 percent occupancy.

The mayor said that Ligtas 2 is now ready to open to help residents who have contracted COVID-19 virus and need to be placed in a quarantine facility.

Do the math, the addition of the new isolation facility will push the total bed-count from the current 188 to 308. That’s a jump of 63.8%! As much as possible, there should be available beds for people in the city who got infected with COVID-19. This is really good news for people of the city.

Las Piñas residents who want to get vaccinated are encouraged to get registered digitally or manually. Click right here for information.

In case you missed the news, our nation will be receiving many millions more vaccines from overseas in the months to come.

Meanwhile overseas, Israel has made tremendous progress with its widescale vaccination program and already a second round of COVID-19 vaccination is being planned. Already the mask mandate in Israel has been rescinded. Schools have been reopened and more people are moving around without masks. With regards to being in indoor public places like stores, malls and churches, masks are still required.

Going back to Las Piñas City, something happened that should remind you all to avoid getting scammed. According to GMA Network News, three suspects were apprehended in the city as a result of an entrapment operation in relation to the alleged issuance of fake RT-PCR test results for COVID-19.

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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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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