- Vax green lane
- Don’t mix doses
President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to immediately pursue the planned local production of COVID-19 vaccines and ordered all government agencies to put up a green lane on government permits to ensure faster processing of all requirements and necessary documents.
In his public address Thursday night, Duterte pledged to grant additional funding for the production of vaccines in the country, saying manufacturing vaccines would allow the Philippine government to have enough jabs for every Filipino and be able to export vaccines to other countries as well.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who was with th President during a virtual meeting, reported that at least four pharmaceutical firms have expressed the intent to venture into local vaccine manufacturing.
Don’t mix vaccines, Duque warns
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday won’t advise the use of mixed COVID-19 vaccines to an individual, since there is no proof yet that this works.
In a congressional hearing, Duque said it would not be easy to determine which vaccine brand caused an adverse side effect if they were mixed.
“For example, if you administer Sinovac as the first dose then AstraZeneca in the second dose, how will you determine which causes an adverse effect if the person will experience it?,” he said in Filipino
Vaccine experts in the Philippines are looking into the possibility of mixing different brands of COVID-19 vaccines because of the limited supply.
Jury out on 3rd dose
The Department of Health (DOH) said it needs more evidence and a recommendation from an international health institution before advising to consider taking a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Pfizer said Thursday that its COVID-19 vaccine will likely have a 3rd dose to protect people from new variants.
“We need sufficient evidence to say if additional doses are required if booster doses are required for any type of vaccine,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during an online briefing.
Vergeire said they would need recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as other reputable health institutions abroad.
Rail workers recover
A total of 212 workers from the four rail services in Metro Manila have recovered from COVID-19, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Friday.
The DOTr status update on Wednesday also indicated 739 active cases among 8,277 workers of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2), Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), and Philippine National Railways (PNR).
As of Thursday, 5,331 have been tested for COVID-19.
At LRT-1, 932 out of 1,185 workers have been tested, with 79 active cases and 82 recovered.
LRT-2 had tested 1,917 out of 1,979 workers, with 242 active cases and 73 recovered.
MRT-3 had 1,227 out of 3,284 tested. There are still 204 active cases and 51 recovered.
At PNR, 1,255 out of 1,829 have been tested, with 214 active cases and six recovered.
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