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CHR calls on government to ensure equal access to good quality vaccines

The Commission on Human Rights is calling on the national government to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines in the country as well-resourced local governments make moves to secure doses for their constituents......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarJan 16th, 2021

China to donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to PH — Palace

Malacañang said Saturday that the Chinese government will donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines as the two countries reaffirmed ties and cooperation against the pandemic. Chinese State Counselor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (DFA OFFICIAL TWITTER ACCOUNT/ MANILA BULLETIN) The Office of the President (OP) made the statement as Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi made a 40-minute courtesy call to President Duterte in Malacañang Saturday. In a statement, the OP said that Wang assured Duterte of China’s commitment to support the Philippines’ efforts to combat COVID-19, a disease that originated in Wuhan, China. “He (Wang) announced that China will donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines. He likewise affirmed China’s resolve to do everything to ensure that vaccines become a global good,” Malacañang said. According to Malacañang, Duterte lauded the continued high-level engagement between the Philippines and China even amid the pandemic and stressed the importance of both sides delivering on the promises of the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation. Duterte stressed that cooperation on public health must be strengthened, particularly access to safe and effective vaccines, to safeguard the health of the people and in order to hasten the economic recovery of both nations and their neighboring countries. “The recovery of nations… sits on the back of stronger economies,” Duterte told Wang. “China plays a very key role in reviving our region’s economy. Let us do all we can to revive economic activities between the Philippines and China,” he added. Malacañang said that Duterte thanked China for its continuing support and cooperation in the country’s fight against COVID-19 in terms of medical equipment and supplies and sharing of experiences and expertise as well as in the repatriation of Filipinos. Economic cooperation Wang declared that China will continue to support the Philippines’ recovery through enhanced economic cooperation. He likewise reiterated his country’s determination to complete pending infrastructure projects. The Palace said that Wang underscored China’s commitment under President Xi Jinping to work closely with the Philippines to sustain the positive trajectory of the valued and special bilateral relations. At the start of his presidency in 2016, Duterte has expressed his desire to build stronger relations with China — even temporarily setting aside the country’s victory over the West Philippine Sea in The Hague to make it happen......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Let the vaccines in

The good news is that we will soon have our first shipment of about 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the WHO-sponsored COVAX program meant to provide developing countries equal access to the available stocks at this time......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2021

No conditions in China’s move to prioritize PH as vaccine recipient — Sta. Romana

China has not imposed any condition when it included the Philippines as among the priority nations to gain access to its potential coronavirus vaccine, according to a Filipino diplomat. Amb. Jose Santiago Sta. Romana Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said China instead reminded the country to prepare its cold storage facilities amid the highly anticipated breakthrough in vaccine development. China will hopefully announce its mass production of the coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year or early next year, Sta. Romana said during an online Palace press briefing. “Hopefully, mass production and distribution will happen in the near future, as early as November and December in terms of production. And it will depend on our capability to receive the vaccines in terms of our facilities, in terms of distribution,” he said.  “The prospects are bright in terms of a breakthrough in vaccine,” he added. Sta. Romana made clear that the cold storage facilities for the potential COVID-19 vaccines are not conditions set by China but simply a reminder to ensure effective distribution of the vaccine.  “It’s just a reminder that if you get the vaccine and you don’t have cold chain storage, then it’s useless so you have to prepare,” he said, citing information from Chinese drug companies.  He said even if the Philippines is in the “priority list,” the distribution of the vaccine will be a challenge. He said the vaccines must be stored in “freezing conditions” to keep its efficacy.  “If exposed to tropical weather or to normal weather conditions, the vaccine could lose its effectiveness,” he said.So far, Sta. Romana said the vaccines being developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firms have entered phase 3 of the clinical trials. One of the potential vaccines have been approved for emergency use for health workers and other government frontliners. “The Chinese will make an announcement in the near future and then they’ll start their mass production. And once there is the mass production, then I think there will be distribution. Hopefully, before the end of the year; but surely by the first quarter of next year,” he said.  Asked if China has imposed any condition on the Philippines in exchange for the vaccine supply, Sta. Romana said: “No, not at all. Actually, we’re the ones, our condition is that it should pass our local requirements.” When asked if Beijing has pledged the amount of vaccines and if these will be given to Manila for free, Sta. Romana said the matter would entail more discussion. “I cannot give you a definitive answer right now but definitely in terms of number, you know, how they will do it kasi it depends on the—they’re talking of hundreds of millions in terms of production dito sa China. So, the question is iyong distribution and deployment,” he said. “They’re preparing their manufacturing facilities for the mass production of vaccines the moment approval is announced,” he added. Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado has assured that the government has funds that will be needed for the establishment of the cold storage facilities for the coronavirus vaccines. “Surely, as the sun rises in the east, there will be funds for that because the President will never allow that we will run short of the requirements to make sure that we have the storage facilities for all of these vaccines,” he said in the same online press conference. Last week, President Duterte expressed confidence about the safety of the vaccines being developed by China, citing the Asian neighbor is a modern country. He said the government has funds for the vaccine purchase, adding he was just waiting for China or Russia to contact him. “I’d be glad to open up my sleeves because I am confident with their vaccine,” he added......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

U.N. launches global push to accelerate production of virus vaccine

GENEVA, Switzerland – The UN on Friday, April 24, joined forces with world leaders and the private sector on an initiative to speed up development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments , and ensure equal access for all. "This is a landmark collaboration to accelerate the development, production ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 25th, 2020

‘Experts need to ensure COVID-19 vaccine safety, efficacy’

Sen. Bong Go yesterday stressed the need for experts to ensure the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines to allay fears and help improve public confidence in the National COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap, while emphasizing that government authorities are doing their best to secure sufficient supply of vaccines for the country......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2021

Makati procures laboratory freezers for vaccines

The Makati government has procured 42 biomedical refrigerators and laboratory freezers to ensure the proper storage of COVID-19 vaccines, Mayor Abby Binay announced yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2021

A bleak 2021

While people are busy complaining about red-tagging, the uncertainties on the availability and quality of COVID-19 vaccines, Congress’ discussion of charter change, and other issues, the government released the economic data for 2020......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 30th, 2021

Filipino’s access to more vaccines

Last Wednesday, I was interviewed on ANC’s Headstart with Karen Davila where I provided an update of our talks with other vaccine manufacturers, along with my suggestion to Secretary Galvez to make the vaccine roll-out open to executives and even to our high-ranking government officials......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 28th, 2021

Government wants vaccines declared as state assets

The government wants Congress to immediately pass a law that will declare COVID-19 vaccines as state assets to ensure control over the supply of serums amid the scramble among local government units and private companies to secure doses for their constituents and workers......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2021

THRILLMAKER: Ces Drilon turns over a new leaf

In showbusiness, there will always be the one hit wonders, those people who hit mainstream popularity usually for only one piece of work and become known to the general public solely for that momentary success.  Of course, those of this type are, sooner or later, gone from the public eye and then eventually forgotten.  Then there are the lurkers, as in the online world, they are those who just quietly stay afloat in the sidelines, not hitting it big but somehow able to prolong their presence in the showbiz realm.  Then come the real superstars, those who are able to prolong their relevance by not being boxed in by their past successes and are not afraid to explore and reinvent themselves for a more “current” image.  When one talks about reinvention, favorite pop icon of the 80s, Madonna, always comes to mind.  Locally, there is Vilma Santos-Recto, who has, throughout her career, taken on a lot of image makeovers from her days as a childstar, a teenstar, a dramatic star and now as a star legislator—truly stamping her mark as a Star For All Seasons. In Philippine television, one personality who has, over the decades, managed to successfully take on any role she’s been asked to play is seasoned broadcaster Ces Oreña-Drilon.  From being a very incisive news reporter, she shifted to covering business and then even hosted her own popular business show in the 90s.  From there we all saw her taking on the mainstream news anchoring chores in ABSCBN’s late primetime newscast Bandila, before eventually heading the Lifestyle Ecosystem of the entire network. When the dust coming out of the whole ABSCBN franchise debacle finally settled, regular viewers and fans found Ces still widely present in their mobile devices, with her KUMU ventures Ces and the City and Bawal Ma-Stress Drilon still getting good audience shares.  She has also upped her “influencer” status further by going into various businesses which are not only profitable but are inspiring more and more women to empower themselves though enterprise and hardwork. Very recently, the former Usapang Business host decided that she wanted to do something bigger for the nation—bigger than just giving Filipinos their daily dose of the news.   This is why she recently accepted her election as President of the TOWNS Foundation (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service).    TOWNS Foundation Incorporated is a national organization of dynamic and effective women who by their common shared activities and interests help transform the lives of the Filipinos.  The association is composed of 160 women, all accomplished in their respective fields, be it in the private or government sectors, who have been working together to help in the country’s development for the past 50 years.  Among the goals of the TOWNS Foundation is the recognition of women achievers which paved the way for the TOWNS Awards.  All TOWNS awardees become members of the foundation. The vision of TOWNS is to have a nation of empowered women who serve as catalysts for national development towards improving quality of life.  Its four-fold mission includes: identifying and recognizing exemplary women; harnessing talents of its members to influence national issues; inspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs; and providing a nurturing environment to TOWNS members. When the COVID19 pandemic hit the country last year, TOWNS joined forces with the UP Medical Foundation, Inc (UPMFI) to source funds that were used to procure PPEs for hospitals all over the country.  The still ongoing campaign has so far raised over P57 Million for countless frontliner beneficiaries. With her election as President, Ces now joins the ranks of former TOWNS Presidents Olivia Ferry, who became ZONTA International President; former PEZA administrator Lilia De Lima; former SSS Administrator Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo; businesswoman  Evelyn Singson; and former DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral. With Ces now at the helm, we’re certain that the group is now headed to even greater heights of greatness for we know that when Ces starts talking business, she really means it......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Gov’t sets inspection of cold storage facilities

For COVID-19 vaccines The government will conduct an inspection starting next week of existing cold storage facilities as it prepares for another tripartite logistics suppliers agreement for an integrated shipment, storage and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the country. National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said this as he assured that inputs from the private logistics providers will be considered in organizing an end-to-end service for the vaccines’ rollout. Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 (NTF AGAINST COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN) “Next week we will inspect all available cold chain storage. We are coordinating with a consortium so that they will make sure that all vaccines from 2-8-degree celcius to negative 70 will be taken care of,” he said. This developed as the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP), told Manila Bulletin that the industry is still awaiting for the government to accept the industry’s offer to play a role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine. CCAP is a multi-sectoral group of companies involved in the handling, storage, and distribution of chilled and frozen food, among other products.                Galvez assured that the logistics system for the vaccines will be in coordination with the vaccine suppliers, the cold storage provider and the government. Galvez explained the government has to establish an integrated logistics system for the vaccines to ensure there is no wastage of the new vaccines, which have different storage temperature requirement. “We have seen some reports that we have 30 percent wastage in some areas in Europe. With acute shortage of vaccines we cannot afford wastage,” he stressed. He further said that the cold storage facilities are part of their agreement with vaccine suppliers for an end-to-end service solution. The after sales service is part of this long commitment with the vaccine suppliers and as a requirement under the government’s universal health system. “We will make sure that the vaccine that will be coming here has an integrated coordination with vaccine maker, the local government units and the private sector so that includes after sales service,” he said. Meantime, the Go Negosyo which spearheaded the private sector donation drive “A Dose of Hope” said there are ongoing consultations to help Galvez in coming up with an integrated shipment, storage and distribution system for the vaccines. Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said the private sector donors would rather live the logistics aspect to the vaccine supplier Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and the national government to ensure smooth implementation. Concepcion has secured 17 million doses from the private sector that are expected to inoculate 8 million Filipinos in June-July this year. Meantime, Royal Cargo Inc., one of the country’s leading logistics providers, has expanded its cold storage facility at its Paranaque head office so it can accommodate the different temperature requirements of the various COVID-19 vaccines. Earlier, CCAP President Anthony Dizon said the Philippine government is yet to formally tap the country’s cold chain industry for the handling and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country.            According to Dizon, the industry, “individually and collectively”, has more than enough capacity to participate in the country’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution program.Right now, he said the cold chain industry’s total cumulative capacity stood at 500,000 pallet containers, while the initial 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will consume only less than 200 pallets.            “Our initial estimate is that even if we are called upon to play a role in the storage of the vaccine, it will constitute a small portion of our capacity,” Dizon said.“The industry is just waiting for the government to approach us,” he added.   In a previous report,. said the government is now in discussion with the private sector regarding the state-led distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.             “I’m thankful to the private sector for throwing their support to us, like what they did when we ramped up our testing capacity,” said Galvez.  On the part of CCAP, however, Dizon said no official dialogue has so far taken place between the organization and the government regarding this matter......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Faith and trust in government

Twin surveys - Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations – came out recently with sentiments and attitudes of people on the expected roll out of several brands of vaccines that are expected to cure the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines. The survey findings should alarm the government itself and its managers designated to ensure the safety and health of the nation......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 14th, 2021

Philippine seeks $325 million from ADB for vaccines

The Philippine government has requested approximately $325 million from the rapid response component of the Asian Development Bank’s vaccine access facility, an ADB official said yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 21st, 2020

Go: Vaccine efficacy is vital

As the country joins the race in securing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has stressed that the safety and efficacy of the purchased vaccines are of vital importance. In an ambush interview during his visit to Barangay Looc in Mandaue City, Cebu, the senator noted that the government should ensure that […] The post Go: Vaccine efficacy is vital appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 19th, 2020

WHO in talks with Pfizer, Moderna on Covid-19 vaccine access

GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday it is in discussions with Pfizer and Moderna about possibly including their high-tech coronavirus vaccines among early jabs for poor countries at affordable prices. The WHO-backed Covax facility, created to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines around the world as they become available, is aiming to […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  balitaRelated NewsDec 16th, 2020

COVID vaccines are not created equal

Which of several COVID-19 vaccines in the market is the government thinking of using to inoculate at least 60 million Filipinos scattered throughout the archipelago and how will the complicated operation be conducted?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 15th, 2020

Questions on the vaccines

The government and the private sector are working together to ensure the availability of the AstraZeneca vaccine by May or June next year. This is light at the end of the tunnel, however long the tunnel is......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 30th, 2020

Pru Life UK continues health dialogue series on telemedicine with partners from the government and health sector

Pru Life UK reaffirmed its commitment to digital health with the webinar Telemedicine: Accelerating Access of Filipinos to Quality Universal Health Care......»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 27th, 2020

35 million Filipinos as priority for virus vaccine

The government already has a list of 35 million Filipinos that will get priority access to vaccines against COVID-19, which will be available either by the second quarter of 2021 or by the middle of 2021, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 26th, 2020

A dose of hope

As pharmaceutical companies report good results on their COVID-19 vaccines, it is imperative that the Philippines not be left behind in gaining access to these critical resources......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 25th, 2020