COVID-19 Crisis: Almost 11,000 patients received 2nd booster shots in Muntinlupa City

As new COVID-19 infections in Metro Manila keep rising, the City Government of Muntinlupa announced through its health office that almost 11,000 people have received their 2nd booster shots locally, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. Along the way, the number of Muntinlupa City patients described as fully vaccinated has reached over 500,000.

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

Nearly 11,000 people have been given their second booster shot in Muntinlupa, the City Health Office (CHO) reported.

As of June 17, 10,972 individuals have been given the second booster shot out of the 141,449 who got their first booster shot or 7.75 percent.

Of the 10,972 recipients, 2,168 came from Barangay Putatan, 1,254 from Ayala Alabang, 1,182 from Alabang, 1,103 from Tunasan, 1,046 from Cupang, 1,014 from Poblacion, 710 from Sucat, 463 from Bayanan, and 157 from Buli. A total of 1,875 recipients were unclassified.

The total number of first booster recipients is 31.96 percent of the target population of 441,517, or 80 percent of the total population of 553,146.

There are 501,452 individuals who are fully vaccinated in Muntinlupa, or 113.32 percent of the target population.

Among 12 to 17 years old, a total of 49,594 have been fully vaccinated, or 71.85 percent of the total population of 56,499.

The Department of Health (DOH) has approved giving booster shots to 12 to 17 years old but guidelines have yet to be released.

In addition, 16,080 minors aged five to 11 have been fully vaccinated in Muntinlupa, or 23.58 percent of the total population of 68,198.

Having read the above news report excerpt, I encourage you to get vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19 whenever you have the chance. Be aware that the anti-vaccine fanatics here in the Philippines are spreading their deceptive propaganda to fool people from getting vaccinated/boosted. Be aware that anti-vaccine fanatics themselves have NO REAL SOLUTIONS AGAINST COVID-19 itself.

To all Muntinlupa City residents reading this, if you need to get vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19, you should contact MunCoVac as soon as possible.

More on the aspect of immunizing people around the country, I can only hope that the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos will reach out to Russia to acquire new supplies of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines as they registered strong resistance against the more infectious Omicron variant.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident who already received your first booster shot (following the first two doses that made you a fully vaccinated patient), have you checked with the local authorities to find out if you are eligible for the 2nd booster shot? Did you encounter any anti-vaccine fanatic online or in person 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. 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: Joint study reveals that Sputnik V demonstrates 97% efficacy against Omicron-caused hospitalization following revaccination with Sputnik Light or Sputnik V

Recently, a study (involving Russian scientists including representatives of the City Clinical Hospital No. 67 and the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology) revealed that the Russian vaccine Sputnik V demonstrated 97% efficacy against hospitalization caused by the Omicron variant following revaccination with Sputnik Light or Sputnik V, according to a press release published online.

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

The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Center) today announced that Vaccines, the leading peer-reviewed medical journal, has published the results of a joint study conducted by team of scientists including representatives of Moscow’s City Clinical Hospital No. 67 named after L.A. Vorokhobov and the Gamaleya Center showing the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine is 97% effective against hospitalisation caused by the Omicron variant of coronavirus (B.1.1.529) among those vaccinated with 3 or 4 components (re-vaccination with Sputnik Light or Sputnik V after Sputnik V).

The corresponding article has been peer-reviewed and is available at:

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-393X/10/6/938/htm

The study was conducted from 11 January to 21 February 2022 involving over 1,000 patients in Moscow. Sputnik V showed high efficacy against hospitalisation at 85.9% among patients vaccinated with at least one component. Efficacy among those vaccinated with 3 or 4 components (re-vaccination with Sputnik Light or Sputnik V after Sputnik V) rose to:

o   97% against any cases of hospitalisation;

o   97.7% against moderate-severe and more severe cases;

o   98.6% against severe and critical cases;

o   99.4% against critical cases.

As authors note, “the study shows that vaccination with Sputnik V and Sputnik Light has a high effectiveness for protection against hospitalisation. The reduction in the severity of COVID-19 regarding the Omicron variant was also observed. The greatest effectiveness was evident in protection against a critical course of the disease requiring patients to be admitted to the intensive care unit.”

While it is very difficult to talk about Russia-related matters due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war (note: help the people of Ukraine by donating through Hillsong Church online), it is important to focus on what Sputnik vaccines are able to do as the whole world continues to struggle to bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis economically, socially and medically. With regards to my native Philippines, the daily count of new COVID-19 infections has gone up nationwide in recent times. The Metro Manila cities of Muntinlupa and Pasig each had their own shares of increased new COVID-19 infections.

I can only hope that the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., will consider acquiring more doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light even though the national authorities are trying to balance supply of COVID-19 vaccines with the rather slugging public response in terms of getting vaccinated or boosted at their local vaccination sites. The formulation behind Sputnik V and Sputnik Light should be strongly considered when it comes to immunizing as many Filipinos as possible from COVID-19, including the more infectious Omicron variant and its sub-variants.  

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? Have you ever been vaccinated or boosted with a Sputnik vaccine? Did you receive at least two doses of Sputnik V already? Does your local vaccination site have Sputnik V or Sputnik Light in supply right now? Did anyone from the anti-vaccine fanatics community turn violent against you because you refused to believe in them?

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Sputnik M vaccine for adolescents (aged 12 to 17) authorized for use in Kazakhstan

Here in the Philippines, the vaccination of minors specifically aged 12 to 17-years-old has been going on for some time now while the vaccination of younger minors aged 5 to 11-years-old is gradually increasing. My concern is that Pfizer’s flawed COVID-19 vaccine has been used mainly on minors aged 5 to 17 (for references, click here and here) as it has been proven that the said vaccine – which uses mRNA technology – provides patients very weak protection from the infectious Omicron variant. The other vaccine used for minors aged 12-17 is Moderna which happens to also be an mRNA vaccine. The more Pfizer vaccines is used in the country, the more concerning it becomes.

Over there in Kazakhstan, it has been announced officially that Sputnik M – a COVID-19 vaccine for patients aged 12 to 17-years-old – has been authorized by the nation’s Health Ministry for use on their adolescents.

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

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) today announced that the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan has authorized the use of Sputnik M Russian vaccine for adolescents aged 12-17.

Thus Kazakhstan has become the first country outside Russia to authorize the use of Sputnik M.

In contrast with some international producers offering their vaccines in the same dosage for both adults and adolescents, the Gamaleya Center has developed Sputnik M specifically for adolescents.

Sputnik M is a two-shot vaccine based on the same human adenoviral vectors platform, which is safe and has been widely studied for over 30 years. The only difference between Sputnik M and Sputnik V is a lower concentration of viral particles per dose: Sputnik M for adolescents has 5 times less concentration in comparison with the original Sputnik V in both shots.

Russian Ministry of Health registered Sputnik M on November 24, 2021 based on data from clinical trials confirming the high safety and immunogenicity profile of Sputnik M among adolescents. During the trials there were no serious adverse events registered following vaccination with Sputnik M. Current results are corresponding with those obtained during clinical trials and real-world data on Sputnik V after vaccinating adults.

Sputnik V has been authorized in 71 country with total population of over 4 billion people. It induces stronger and longer lasting immune response against COVID (including the Omicron variant) than many other vaccines, which is further strengthened by Sputnik Light booster. A unique comparative study[1] conducted at Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Italy by a team of 12 Italian and 9 Russian scientists has shown that Sputnik V vaccine demonstrates more than 2 times higher titers of virus neutralizing antibodies to Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant than 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine (2.1 times higher in total and 2.6 times higher 3 months after vaccination).

The study was conducted in the equal laboratory conditions on comparable sera samples from individuals vaccinated with Sputnik V and Pfizer with a similar level of IgG antibodies and virus neutralizing activity (VNA) against Wuhan variant. Sputnik V showed significantly smaller (2.6 times) reduction of virus neutralizing activity against Omicron as compared to reference Wuhan variant than Pfizer vaccine (8.1-fold reduction for Sputnik V in contrast to 21.4-fold reduction for Pfizer vaccine).

It should be remembered that a study in Italy confirmed that Sputnik V provides strong resistance against the Omicron variant and that is reassuring because Sputnik M is derived from Sputnik V. If only the government here in the Philippines would make the right decision to acquire more Sputnik vaccines and immunizing as many Filipinos with them. Right now, the Omicron variant does seem to be bothering Filipinos and in recent times the daily count of new COVID-19 infections nationwide has fallen down significantly.

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? Don’t you feel concerned about the Pfizer vaccine’s weak protection from 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@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Clinical trials in Russia and Azerbaijan demonstrate the safety and immunogenicity of AstraZeneca vaccine mixed with Sputnik Light

Are the local authorities in your place organizing COVID-19 vaccination programs with supplies of Sputnik V or the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine in supply?  For the sake of protecting people from the coronavirus and its variants, local and national authorities should seriously consider acquiring more doses of Sputnik vaccines from Gamaleya as two new studies – one in Russia and the other in Azerbaijan – demonstrated the safety and immunogenicity of AstraZeneca mixed with Sputnik Light as announced recently at SputnikVaccine.com. This is apart from the confirmed findings that Sputnik vaccines effective against the highly infectious Omicron variant (for references, click here, here and here).

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

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund), R-Pharm group and AstraZeneca announce interim results of phase II clinical trials to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the combined use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine and the first component of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine (Sputnik Light).

According to the interim results of the trials, involving 100 volunteers in Russia and 100 volunteers in Azerbaijan, the vaccines combination demonstrated an acceptable safety profile, which is consistent with the results of previous AstraZeneca vaccine, Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines clinical trials.

Volunteers were being monitored for 57 days after the first dose. Monitoring results demonstrated a good safety profile of the combination. No serious adverse events related to vaccination were registered.

The research conducted by RDIF, the Gamaleya Center, AstraZeneca, and R-Pharm is the first study in the world to evaluate the combined use of components of different adenovirus vaccines to prevent coronavirus infection. In December 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a similar approach, also known as heterologous prime booster vaccination.[i] The WHO estimates that interchangeability of different drugs will allow greater flexibility in vaccination programs, increase vaccine efficacy and affordability.

A joint phase II clinical trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a combination of AstraZeneca’s vaccine and the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine is being conducted under the memorandum signed in December 2020 by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the Gamaleya Center, AstraZeneca and R-Pharm. The study takes place in Azerbaijan, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Volunteers receive intramuscular injections of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the Ad26-S component of the Sputnik V vaccine in different sequences at 28-day intervals.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF): Preliminary data from the trial to test Sputnik Light and AstraZeneca vaccines combination support the “mix and match” approach to revaccination. With new dangerous variants of concern emerging, this approach could provide safe, effective and long-term protection.

Vasily Ignatiev, CEO of the R-Pharm Group JSC: Current safety data adds to the data on the high immunogenicity profile of the vaccine combination that has been announced earlier. We are one step closer to completing the studies. The results are being processed.

In relation to the above press release, you might want to remember what specific brands of COVID-19 vaccines did you get injected with. If you got Sputnik V for your first two doses and AstraZeneca as your booster shot, then you should be protected. As for Sputnik Light, there’s not enough supplies of it here in the Philippines. Sputnik Light and AstraZeneca make an effective and safe combination as far as COVID-19 vaccine mix-and-match goes.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this recent news development? If you have been fully vaccinated but have yet to get boosted, does this latest development convince you to search for a Sputnik vaccine or AstraZeneca as your booster shot? Have you recently checked with the local vaccination organizers if they have sufficient supplies of both AstraZeneca and Sputnik vaccines? Are you aware that mRNA vaccines are flawed and the protection they provide fade away quickly?

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines 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: Almost 60 million Filipinos fully vaccinated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: 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: 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/