COVID-19 Crisis: Omicron-adapted vaccines may generate more immunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines pandemic exit strategy coming

It has been over two years since the entire Philippines first got setback economically and socially by the COVID-19 crisis. Until now, people, private organizations and businesses are still struggling to fully recover from the varied effects that come with government-imposed restrictions, limitations on business-related activities, and the public’s complacency towards COVID-19. It is bad enough that the Philippines now has a core of anti-vaccine fanatics who are misinforming and scaring people while offering no real solutions to the problems.

Speaking of solutions, a pandemic exit strategy is brewing high up in the government and it should be sent to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., soon, according to a recent report by the Manila Bulletin.

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

A Cabinet member has committed that the proposed pandemic exit strategy crafted by a panel of medical experts will be endorsed to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Former presidential adviser and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said that Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos will endorse the proposal which the government can adopt to help the country transition from pandemic to normalcy.

In a statement, Concepcion said “Abalos said he will endorse the presentation of the proposals to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

Abalos also said that he “will organize a meeting with the Department of Health (DOH) to initiate more vaccinations at the community level.”

Abalos also agreed on the importance of raising booster vaccination rates to 70 percent of the eligible population which is included in the pandemic exit proposal.

“Kailangan ng isa pa. Isa pa para sa mga pamilya, isa pa para sa komunidad (We need one more One more for our families, one more for our community),” Abalos said.

With this, Concepcion also renewed his call to push for one more massive effort for vaccination.

Complacency is really the problem. There is no sense of urgency because people don’t see what might happen if our wall of immunity starts to weaken,” he said.

Concepcion explained that re-infections are quite possible, and that cases of long Covid have grave consequences on productivity, and ultimately, the economy.

He echoed Abalos’ statement that “we need to convince people that they need boosters.”

The DILG Chief recently met with Concepcion and members of the Advisory Council of Experts (ACE), a group of medical doctors, scientists and academics comprising the country’s foremost authorities on public health, molecular biology, disaster resilience, data insight and analysis, and economics.

The group’s proposal outlined parameters to ease the country into normalcy and encourage economic activity without risking the public’s health. It has been met with approval from the private sector, including several industry groups and businessmen.

Abalos further expressed optimism as the proposal was an initiative of the private sector, and that it puts emphasis on the importance of achieving high booster vaccination rates.

As you can see in the above news excerpt, national government officials, private sector members and other stakeholders have been brainstorming and discussing ways with the exit strategy in mind to truly lift the nation further from the COVID-19 crisis. Former presidential adviser Joey Concepcion is absolutely right when he pointed to complacency which is an enduring problem on the part of the public when it comes to how they perceived COVID-19, vaccination and health. I am certain that a lot of people got fooled by the anti-vaccine fanatics who keep on spreading misinformation and fear.

On the aspect of vaccination, I do agree that a major renewal of COVID-19 vaccination and booster shot rollouts should happen soon. I’m talking about reopening the closed vaccination sites, deploying a lot of health workers with lots of supplies of vaccines prepared, and making sure that each vaccination hub is well organized (note: we don’t want a repeat of the very embarrassing Parañaque Pfizer vaccine launch of May 2021). In addition, the national authorities should come up with ways to make economic recovery more achievable for businesses and employees. On the topic of new infections caused by Omicron and its subvariants, our nation should serious consider acquiring more Sputnik vaccines as those have proven to be very effective against Omicron. Whatever the details they are discussing, the pandemic exit strategy for the Philippines something that everyone should watch out for.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? Do you think that the national authorities and other stakeholders will be able come up with a pandemic exit strategy that will work? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics will ramp up their misinformation campaign and fearmongering now that they know a national pandemic exit strategy is being developed? Do you think President Marcos will spend sufficient time to review the pandemic exit strategy before issuing his response?

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 as well as making a donation to support my publishing.. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

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

COVID-19 Crisis: 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: DTI calls for gradual shift to Alert Level 1

Are you tired of living with restrictions and government overreach these past two years as a result of the COVID-19 crisis? A lot of people are not just tired of it but also frustrated as many of them saw their loss of income, losing their jobs, the closure of their businesses as well as an enormous negative impact on their lives. To manage the people living under the pandemic all around the Philippines, an Alert Level system was established months ago as part of quarantine in relation to the number of new and active COVID-19 cases. Currently Metro Manila is under Alert Level 2, however in the City of Parañaque the restrictions on the unvaccinated are still in effect. Parañaque is one of four Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) that still have not lifted the restrictions on unvaccinated people while Metro Manila is placed under Alert Level 2.

For economic recovery and the uplifting of the country, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) called for the gradual shift to the looser and more business-friendly Alert Level 1, according to a GMA Network news report. It should be noted that new cases of COVID-19 infections have declined recently.

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

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday backed the calls to downgrade the quarantine status of the country to Alert Level 1 to open more businesses and jobs amid the decreasing number of new COVID-19 infections.

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said should the country (shift) to Alert Level 1, which is the lowest in the alert level system, it has to be done slowly as there is still the lingering threat of COVID-19.

“Kung mag Alert Level 1 tayo, na gusto din ni (DTI) Sec. Mon (Lopez) na mangyari pero dahan-dahan lang, nandiyan pa rin ‘yung virus. So, kailangan pa rin nating sundin lahat ng health protocols,” she said.

(If we shift to Alert Level 1, which Sec. Mon wants to happen, it should be done slowly because the virus is still there. So, we still need to follow all the health protocols.)

Currently, the National Capital Region (NCR) and several provinces are under Alert Level 2 from February 1 to 15.

Under Alert Level 2, certain establishments and activities are allowed at 50% capacity indoors for fully vaccinated adults and minors, and 70% capacity outdoors, even if unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, under Alert Level 1, all establishments, persons, or activities, are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it follows minimum health standards. This, however, excludes areas under granular lockdown.

Castelo said about 1.5 million businesses in the country can operate at full capacity if the quarantine restrictions are further eased, thus allowing more people to return to work.

“Pagka nag-100% na, full capacity na lahat ng negosyo, lahat nung nagtatrabaho before COVID, ‘yun na din ang makakabalik ngayon,” she said.

(If the businesses are at 100% or at full capacity, all employees working before the pandemic could go back to work now.)

When several areas in the country, including the NCR, moved from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2, the DTI estimated that around 100,000 to 200,000 employees got back to work. That is an addition of almost 16,000 workers weekly, Castelo said.

It would be nice to see the shift to Alert Level 1 actually happen as it means better economic recovery, more employment and a healthier society. I personally want the government-imposed restrictions on businesses and on people removed. Remember the sudden ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) in Metro Manila that happened last August followed by the ban on outdoor exercise? A lot of people got frustrated with those two Metro Manila unfortunate developments months ago. Observe closely how the Metro Manila mayors and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) behave and make decisions. Oh yes, Benhur Abalos is no longer MMDA chairman.

Meanwhile, vaccination programs and COVID-19 testing are being organized most of the time and the more people get vaccinated, the better for the nation and its economic recovery. It would be great for the Philippines to acquire more Sputnik Light and Sputnik V vaccines as they have proven to be effective in protecting people from the infectious Omicron variant. Very recently, Sputnik Light has been approved for use in India and that is something the national government’s officials should seriously consider for acquiring more vaccines for the entire Philippines.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the DTI’s call for the gradual adjustment into the looser Alert Level 1? Do you think the national government as well as local government units (LGUs) have gotten too far with governing and managing us people? Do you think that the more people get vaccinated, the more our country will overcome this pandemic?

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: More than 75% of Philippines target population declared fully vaccinated

When it was reported that the nation of Denmark lifted most of its pandemic restrictions, more than 60% of their population received a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines. Three doses meaning getting fully vaccinated with two doses of most vaccines and getting boosted with the third shot afterwards. Here in the Philippines, there is still a long way to go before 60% of the population gets boosted but the country has been progressing as more than 75% of Filipinos under the target population got fully vaccinated (2 shots), according to an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

A total of 59,120,367 individuals nationwide or 75.7 percent of the target population are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), according to the National Task Force Against Covid-19.

In an interview Wednesday night, National Task Force Against Covid-19 consultant Dr. Maria Paz Corrales said the number is 53 percent of the total Philippine population.

More are expected to receive the life-saving shots as the national government further ramps up its vaccination campaign, expanding it to children aged 5 to 11 years old starting February 4, and in provinces badly hit by Typhoon Odette last year.

Corrales said a total of 780,000 doses of reformulated Pfizer vaccine for this age group would arrive February 3.

She added that the government is planning to hold another round of the national vaccination days for the young age group that would also cover booster doses.

“Meron tayong pinaplanong (We are planning a) national vaccination day that will cover the pediatric population, that’s 5 to 17, and then for the senior citizens, and the booster. We have to ramp up the three so the government is planning to have a national vaccination days para tumaas ang (to increase the number of) vaccination. We hope to achieve 90 million by June,” Corrales said.

In areas stricken by “Odette”, Corrales said the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson and the Sputnik Light vaccines are recommended since they get protected against the disease immediately, without having to return for a second dose.

“The problem is ‘yung mga Odette stricken areas, may ibang may problema pa sa storage kasi ‘yung iba wala pang kuryente, may iba naman, ‘yung mga vaccinators apektado dahil sa (There are areas with storage problems since some are still without power. There are also some vaccinators affected by the) Omicron surge but they have fully recuperated and they are going back to work. The government is doing all its efforts to help build again those Odette stricken areas,” Corrales said.

The country was at the height of its national vaccination days in December when “Odette” struck provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao, causing massive flooding and power outages that went on for days, disrupting the vaccination program in many areas.

Just a few days ago, it was announced that the planned vaccination drive of younger minors aged 5 to 11-years-old would be delayed. Nationwide, local government units have been accepting and processing the registration related to the said vaccination drive. Take for example the City Government of Las Piñas confirmed that more than 9,000 children (aged 5 to 11) were registered. For sure the national count of people getting vaccinated, fully vaccinated and boosted will go up. How long it will take for a majority of the fully vaccinated Filipinos to get boosted remains uncertain.

Regardless, I should reiterate that the Philippines should acquire more Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines to immunize people from coronavirus and its variants (including the more infectious Omicron variant). For related articles about Sputnik versus Omicron, click here, here, here, here and here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the current vaccination efforts of the Philippines? Do you think the government officials from the national level down to the local level are doing the best they can to get as many people immunized from COVID-19?

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines 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: Las Piñas City’s vaccination count surpasses 1.2 million, over 530,000 fully vaccinated

The City Government of Las Piñas announced that their official COVID-19 vaccination count has surpassed 1,200,000 and over 530,000 of that were counted as fully vaccinated (meaning getting injected with 2 doses of most COVID-19 vaccines or getting injected with the single-dose Janssen vaccine). The statistics are accurate as of January 22, 2022.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the official update that the City Government released online…

The official statistics.

As seen above, the total number of patients who got fully vaccinated was at 532,786. It should be noted that getting fully vaccinated as well as getting boosted are crucial in relation to the Omicron variant’s effects on the Philippines. More on the statistics, the first dose count of 557,468 is 124.7% of the target population (70%) while the second dose account is 119.2% of the target population.

Meanwhile, the official booster dose count of Las Piñas City was recorded at 114,799. For the newcomers reading this, only the fully vaccinated are eligible to avail of the booster shot (AKA 3rd shot). 114,799 out of 532,786 is equivalent to 21.5%. There’s still a long way to go before the booster dose count of the city reaches the 500,000 mark. 

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

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

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Las Piñas City, what is your reaction to this recent development? Do you think the city’s vaccination count could reach 2,000,000 within the year? Are the fully vaccinated members of your local community making efforts to get their booster shots? Do you hope that the City Government will receive more doses of the Sputnik vaccines as research showed they have strong resistance against the Omicron variant?

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

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

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