IN A cryptic note today, Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson tweets, “Instead of aiming at the hoop, he scratched his balls so he dropped the ball even as time was running out. Then, Singapore grabbed and shot the ball. Now, they have the vaccines and we don’t.”
Missing out on the 10 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for January 2021 despite efforts taken by Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro ‘Teddy Boy’ Locsin Jr and Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel ‘Babe’ Romualdez, as Locsin claims, Lacson tweeted back: I wish you and Babe good luck in your next effort to intercept the ball. Next time, don’t pass it to that doggone ‘sanamagan’ teammate of yours. He keeps dropping the ball. Our people need those vaccines!
Meanwhile, a significant development, the United Kingdom has started administering Covid-19 vaccines for a week now, targeting the most vulnerable, including carers of residents in care homes for adults, frontline health and social care workers, persons with serious underlying health conditions, and citizens aged 50 and over in what its government calls a list of nine high priority groups.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 has reached the end of clinical trials and is now being rolled out in multiple countries. Regulatory bodies in the UK, Canada, and the US have granted temporary or emergency use authorization for the vaccine to be given to the public.
This is a landmark moment. Building a biological barrier against the virus is now a possibility. A highly effective vaccine, used in combination with current physical barriers, raises hope that bringing an end to the pandemic is achievable. Read more …
MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday forecast a “sharp spike” in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections that might overwhelm the country’s health system capacity if the trend of rising cases continues and is not mitigated.
Trends during the recent week show a slowing down of the previous improvement in the epidemic curve, the DOH said in a statement.
“There has been a continuous growth of cases in Metro Manila, signaling the start of a surge. Nine cities are now at moderate risk compared to last month when all cities were at low risk. The average daily attack rate in all NCR (National Capital Region) cities is also higher than the national average,” the statement read. Read more…
MANILA — The implementation of the government’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Program should include a portion of the labor force who help sustain the economy, aside from those providing essential frontline services, according to Senator Joel Villanueva.
In a resolution, Villanueva sought the Senate to look into the details of the government’s vaccination plan particularly “the readiness of the National Government in rolling out the effective, equitable, affordable, and timely COVID-19 vaccination of 100% of the Filipino population, especially to members of the labor force.” Read more . . .
MANILA — Anticipating a possible spike in the number of cases of Covid-19 in the upcoming festivities to celebrate Christmas and New Year, authorities have decided to advise the public that aside from wearing protective masks, people should now wear face shields whenever they go out in public.
In an official statement, presidential spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque disclosed that violations of the mandatory wearing of face shields would incur penalties that will be determined by the local government units who will amend ordinance or issue executive orders if necessary to require the wearing of such health protective gear. Read more …
NEW YORK – Global coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) deaths reached 1.6 million on Saturday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
The global death toll rose to 1,600,807, with a total of more than 71.4 million cases worldwide as of 1:26 p.m. (1826 GMT), the CSSE data showed.
The United States remains the worst-hit nation, with 15,939,022 cases and 296,656 deaths, accounting for more than 18 percent of the global death toll. Read more …
On 16 Dec, Minister Nadhim Zahawi, who is in charge of vaccine rollout in the UK, tweeted, “A really good start to the vaccination program.”
In the meantime, mass inoculation in the Philippines cannot be realized until the end of the first quarter. The government is looking forward to Sinovac delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine in March 2021 but the Phase 3 clinical trial is not completed yet. According to reports, another meeting between government officials and Sinovac Biotech Ltd representatives has been set this week to finalize a deal on Covid-19 vaccine delivery of 25 million doses starting March 2021. Sinovac, in a bid to complete Phase 3 of its clinical trials, also plans to conduct said final clinical phase in the country while other trials are being done in Indonesia and Brazil.
“The question on safety and efficacy data have to be answered,” Dr. Tony Leachon said in an interview with The Chiefs over One News on TV 5. Leachon, a former adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, urges the government to closely reconsider its resolve on procuring the Sinovac vaccine despite the lack of sufficient data on its efficacy and safety.