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/

COVID-19 Crisis: Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila takes effect today

In case you missed the news, the daily count of new COVID-19 infections around the Philippines has gone up sharply since the last few days of December 2021. On the evening of December 31, it was announced by the national government that Metro Manila will be placed under Alert Level status starting today – January 3, 2022 – until the 15th.

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

The alert level status in Metro Manila will be raised anew from the current Level 2 to Alert Level 3 from Jan. 3 to 15, 2022, Malacañang announced on Friday night.

In a public announcement, acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) decided to shift to a more stringent alert level status as the country saw a spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.

“Nakita naman natin sa mga nakaraang araw ay nag-increase exponentially ang mga kaso dahil sa Holiday activities kung saan tumaas ang movement ng mga tao at bumaba ang compliance sa minimum public health standards. Isa rin sa dahilan ang detection ng local cases ng Omicron variant (We saw an exponential rise during the past days because of the Holiday activities where there were increased movement and compliance with minimum public health standards may have been disregarded. Local cases of the Omicron variant were also detected),” he said.

Nograles added that an increase in Covid-19 positive cases is expected in the succeeding days thus, the IATF’s decision

After 12 days of active cases below 10,000, the number increased to 10,418 on December 29 and was at 14,233 by year-end after 2,961 new cases.

The Department of Health also confirmed 10 new cases of the Omicron variant, with three already recovered.

Nograles cited a “high possibility” of local transmission of the Omicron variant.

Under Alert Level 3, establishments or activities shall be allowed to operate or be undertaken at a maximum of 30 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 50 percent outdoor venue capacity, provided that all workers of the establishments are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Movements

Intrazonal and interzonal movement are still allowed, however, reasonable restrictions may be imposed by the LGUs, which should not be stricter as those prescribed under higher alert levels and subject to the oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of their respective Regional IATF.

Those below 18 years of age, and those belonging to the vulnerable population, shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices in accordance with existing labor laws, rules, and regulations. Individual outdoor exercises shall also be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status. 2.

Prohibited activities

Meanwhile, the following establishments and activities that are considered high-risk for transmission under Alert Level 3 are not allowed:

  1. Face to face or in-person classes for basic education, except those earlier permitted by the IATF and Office of the President;
  2. Contact sports, except those conducted under bubble-type setup, as provided for under relevant guidelines adopted by the IATF, Games and Amusement Board, and Philippine Sports Commission, and approved by the LGU where such games shall be held;
  3. Funfairs/carnivals and kid amusement industries like playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides;
  4. Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as in karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters;
  5. Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments, except those that will be allowed by the IATF or Office of the President; and
  6. Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household.

Allowed activities

He said allowed activities under Alert Level 3 at a maximum of 30% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 50% outdoor venue capacity are the following: 

  1. Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE);
  2. Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers; 
  1. Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like;
  2. Amusement parks or theme parks;
  3. Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, and similar venues;
  4. Cinemas and movie houses;
  5. Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education and training;
  6. In-person religious gatherings; gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased;
  7. Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations administered by their respective government agency, and specialty examinations authorized by the IATF subject to the health and safety guidelines as approved by the IATF;
  8. Dine-in services in food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols;
  9. Personal care establishments such as barbershops, hair spas, hair salons, and nail spas, and those offering aesthetic/cosmetic services or procedures, make-up services, salons, spas, reflexology, and other similar procedures including home service options, subject to the sector-specific protocols of the DTI;
  10. Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for non-contact exercise and sports, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols. Provided that patrons/clients and workers/employees wear face masks at all 3 times and that no group activities are conducted; and
  11. Film, music, and television production, subject to the joint guidelines as may be issued by the DTI, DOLE, and the DOH.

These activities will be allowed provided that all on-site workers/employees of these establishments and organizers of activities are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and MPHS shall be strictly maintained. There is no objection from the LGU where these activities may take place.

The IATF, he said, instructed the Technical Working Group headed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and National Vaccination Operations Center to craft guidelines in the implementation of stricter measures for the unvaccinated individuals.

Metro Manila was under Alert Level 2 for some time and a lot of people and their families have been enjoying the added freedom of movement due to the reduction of restrictions. This, of course, contributed to the crowding at stores and food-and-beverage joints, and the rise of parties or social gatherings during the Christmas season. Along the way, cases of Omicron in the Philippines started to grow. Omicron, which has been magnified by the secular, liberal media organizations and caused a lot of problems worldwide, is feared for being more contagious. Since Omicron is a problem in the country, I can only hope that the national authorities will consider acquiring a new and much bigger batch of the Russian vaccines Sputnik V and Sputnik Light as those vaccines were declared effective against the feared variant.

Other than raising the alert level and putting up more restrictions, the authorities should deal with the Omicron variant fast. I would not be surprised that the local stock market will lose points as long as the Omicron variant remains a problem in the Philippines. For those living in Metro Manila, I encourage you all to pay close attention to the Metro Manila Council (MMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and examine how they will act, react and behave this time around. Let’s observe if those officials won’t be too distracted with pre-election activities related to the May 2022 national and local elections so that they can do their jobs efficiently.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Metro Manila resident, what is your reaction to this development? Do you think the daily number of new COVID-19 cases will fall to less than one thousand per day by January 15, 2022? Are you afraid of the Omicron variant? Do you think it is time for the government to import more Sputnik vaccines to push back against Omicron-related infections?

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: Slight rise in Metro Manila’s COVID-19 positivity rate was due to holiday frenzy according to OCTA Research

As far as Metro Manila goes, the slight increase of the COVID-19 positivity rate was caused not by the media-magnified Omicron variant but by the holiday frenzy according to OCTA Research in 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…

The slight increase in Metro Manila’s Covid-19 positivity rate, average daily attack rate (ADAR), and reproduction rate was due to the holiday frenzy and not necessarily because of the Omicron variant, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said on Monday.

David said it is premature to say that the newest coronavirus variant had something to do with the spike in numbers.

Based on two-week growth rates (TWGR), David reported that the current reproduction number is at 0.85 percent while the ADAR in the National Capital Region (NCR) is at 0.82 percent.

The positivity rate slightly increased to 1.4 percent.

“So, hindi natin masasabi ngayon na Omicron-driven ito dahil nakita rin naman natin ito last year. Siguro doon sa pagtitipun-tipon ng mga kababayan natin kaya kailangan doble pag-iingat lang naman din ang kinakailangan natin (So we can’t really say that it is Omicron-driven because we have seen this last year. The gatherings might have caused this, so we just really need to be extra careful),” he said in a media briefing.

As of Monday, the country has 9,579 active Covid-19 cases, the 10th straight day that the tally was below 10,000.

Four cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed so far.

Just like last year, David noted that the Covid-19 testing slowed down as laboratories took a break and the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette affected the operations of some testing centers.

He said a “clear picture” as to how the Covid-19 cases suddenly increased might be available until the first week of January next year.

“Ang nangyari naman noong January this year lang, noong January of 2021, iyong uptick ay bumalik na siya sa normal level. So bumaba ulit siya. Iyon iyong sanang gusto nating makita ngayon na after January, kapag na-resolve na iyong testing, iyong kakulangan natin sa testing at iyong mga closed laboratories ay bababa ulit sa normal levels ang bilang ng kaso. Iyan iyong gusto nating mangyari (So, in January this year, the uptick went back to its normal level. So it went down again. So, that’s what we want to see after January [next year], if we resolved our backlogs in testing and in our laboratories, then the cases will go back to normal levels. That’s what we want to happen),” David said.

David sees no need yet to increase restrictions or push for premature interventions.

“It could just be a holiday uptick, which means na after the holidays, possibly bababa din iyong number of cases and iyong positivity rate (it is possible that the number of cases and the positivity rate will go down),” he added.

As I personally observed, a lot of people and families have been moving around not only because of the Alert Level 2 status of Metro Manila but also because of Christmas-related activities like shopping, touring and dining inside restaurants. I myself saw lots of people moving inside and around Festival Mall and the Alabang Town Center here in Muntinlupa City in the days leading to Christmas. Also there were families who had Christmas parties or small gatherings with relatives. Not even the news about the Omicron variant being present here in the Philippines impacted them. Fortunately for Filipinos, Omicron cases in the country are very few and all of those were detected from passengers who arrived from overseas. As of this writing, the Omicron variant has not been detected in the local population.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this latest development? Do you believe OCTA Research’s analysis about the holiday frenzy being the factor behind the slight rise of COVID-19 positivity? Do you personally know people who still remained unvaccinated to this day? Are you aware about Sputnik vaccines being more effective against the Omicron variant (read a related article by clicking here) and that Pfizer’s vaccines are less effective?

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: Metro Manila under Alert Level 2 until December 31, 2021

Good news for people of Metro Manila who are enjoying more liberty to visit friends and families, enjoying shopping and dining, and traveling more! The Alert Level 2 status for Metro Manila, which has been going on for some time now, will remain until December 31, 2021, according to a report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The Covid-19 Alert Level 2 status in Metro Manila will remain for the rest of the year despite the detection of a third Omicron variant case in the country, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said Monday.

The vaccine czar said the possible amendment on the alert level status will be based on the epidemiological recommendations of the Department of Health, considering key factors on cases surge and hospitalization rate.

“If the cases are high, including critical cases, and if the attack rate will increase, that’s the time we will raise our alert level,” Galvez said during a media briefing at a mall vaccination site in Taytay, Rizal.

Galvez said there is a continuing decline in Covid-19 cases in the country, with just 9,592 active infections as of Monday.

“Thank God, we maintained the low positivity rate. Actually, there are some areas that recorded less than one percent of positivity rate,” he added.

Still, he cautioned the public against complacency amid the downtrend.

“For now, we will just maintain the alert level, but we will massively accelerate the vaccination. At the same time, we will revisit our preparations in terms of treatment, quarantine facilities, and hospital treatments as well as the responses of the local government units (LGUs),” he said.

Stringent border control measures against the Omicron variant are also in place, added Galvez.

“Though we prepared a good response in terms of stringent border controls, as I’ve said earlier, we expected that,” he said. “The low cases and figures were sustained despite the opening of our economy.”

Galvez thanked anew LGUs and the private sector for proactively participating in the national Covid-19 vaccination days.

“And we have already reached our milestone of hitting 100 million jabs administered nationwide and we are now reaching 40 percent fully vaccinated out of our total population. That’s a huge milestone,” he said.

Secretary Vince Dizon, the Presidential Adviser on Covid-19 Response and NTF deputy chief, said the decision to impose lockdowns or to raise the alert level status should be based on the set parameters of number of cases, attack rate, and the two-week growth rate.

For some people, the move to retain the Alert Level 2 status for Metro Manila is surprising due to the global hardship caused by the Omicron variant (including becoming the dominant strain in the United States) which is already here in the Philippines. Still there is the fact that the daily count of new COVID-19 infections remains in the few hundreds and so far, the Omicron variant has not created a spike of new cases which is good because the Philippines is now at a stage of economic and social recovery after many months of restrictions. By the way, if you were injected with the Pfizer vaccine and are wondering how protected you are from Omicron, better read my recent article by clicking here. For those who got vaccinated with Sputnik V or Sputnik Light, click here and here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest development? Does the constant reporting of Omicron-related news make you feel uncomfortable? Do you believe the Alert Level 2 status extension for Metro Manila is the right move knowing that there are a few cases of Omicron here in 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. 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: Gamaleya Center’s preliminary study shows Sputnik vaccines are effective against Omicron variant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sputnik Light efficacy data:

  • Sputnik Light has been proven to be safe and highly effective by real-world vaccination data. In particular, data from the Ministry of Health of Buenos Aires (Argentina) has demonstrated standalone efficacy of Sputnik Light between 78.6-83.7% among the elderly (over 40,000 people of 60-79 years old), which is higher than that of many two-dose vaccines.
  • Findings by the Gamaleya Center based on data collected in Moscow have demonstrated Sputnik Light vaccine administered standalone has 70% efficacy against infection from the Delta variant of coronavirus during the first three months after vaccination. The vaccine is 75% effective among subjects under the age of 60. Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are based on a safe and effective human adenoviral vector platform and have not been associated with rare serious adverse events following vaccination, such as myocarditis or pericarditis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only one person who was vaccinated was hospitalized.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: More than 40 million fully vaccinated people in the Philippines

According to a recent report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), that the number of people here in the Philippines who got fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (two doses of most brands of vaccines specifically) has surpassed forty million.

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

The Philippines has already administered 95,982,996 doses of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine nationwide, with 40,693,310 Filipinos now fully protected against the dreaded disease.

Data from the National Covid-19 vaccination dashboard as of December 10 also showed that 54,553,456 doses were used as first shots while 736,230 were for booster or additional shots.

The government targets to complete the two primary doses of at least 54 million adult Filipinos, at least 80 percent of children aged 12 to 17 years old, and booster shots for 1.6 million health care workers by the end of the year to achieve population protection.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer, earlier said the government will aim to increase the number of fully vaccinated Filipinos up to 77 million by the end of the first quarter next year and up to 90 million by the second quarter.

The government reminded the public to avail themselves of booster shots six months after receiving their second doses or three months for those who received the single-dose Janssen jab.

Senior citizens and adults with comorbidities have priority lanes in vaccination centers.

In relation to the above news, it was announced recently that COVID-19 vaccinations has exceeded 1,000,000 in Las Piñas City and that figure includes vaccination of minors as well as booster shots for a growing number of fully vaccinated people. Almost 478,000 patients got fully vaccinated in Las Piñas City.

While having more than 40,000,000 fully vaccinated people around the Philippines is pleasing to hear, it remains to be seen how the national and local authorities will react in the event that the media-magnified Omicron variant gets detected within the country. The national authorities have been monitoring the Omicron variant developments while many other countries saw their government impose restrictions. Meanwhile the people behind Sputnik vaccines insisted that their current vaccines remained effect against all variants and went ahead with developing another version of their vaccine with Omicron in mind.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does this latest development make you feel confident about what lies ahead for the Philippines during this pandemic? If you were vaccinated, are you eager right now to get a booster shot? Are you convinced that world governments overreacted towards 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