News – PH – WHO demands strict adherence to the list of priorities

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MANILA, Philippines – Amid reports from government officials who have skipped the vaccination line and even relatives of some health frontliners at a military hospital who received their COVID jabs, the World Health Organization yesterday called for strict priority list compliance

WHO country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe warned that failure to comply could force the COVAX facility to “consider other options”

“To ensure that we can continue to have access to vaccines through the COVAX facility, we need to demonstrate that we can follow this prioritization. As you know, there is tremendous demand for vaccines in all of the affected countries If we cannot demonstrate that we are following the prioritization, the COVAX facility may need to consider other options where the impact of introducing vaccines will be useful and practical and will help save more lives, ”Abeyasinghe said in a virtual briefing

The priority list approved in consultation with the WHO, said Abeyasinghe, must be adhered to so that the Philippines can smoothly move on to the second and third priority group after the health workers

Malacañang yesterday admitted that some officials appeared to have skipped the line in front of the health frontliners, but said it was done “in good faith” to increase public confidence in the vaccines

According to Abeyasinghe, the Philippines are receiving one of the largest shipments of COVAX vaccines and need to ensure the rollout is prioritized to maximize impact

He stressed that HCWs need to be prioritized as they are most at risk and take care of those who become infected

The Undersecretary for Health, Maria Rosario Vergeire, repeated Abeyasinghe’s appeal and called on all concerned to adhere to the prioritization framework

One of the conditions set by the COVAX facility is the alignment with the goal that vaccines should be given to those who need them most

As mentioned by Abeyasinghe, Vergeire said the next shipment of vaccines from COVAX could potentially be at risk if the prioritization list is not followed

In Malacañang, an official with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease Management said seniors will have to wait before receiving their COVID-19 recordings after manufacturers advised against vaccinating seniors because Sinovac Only recommended for healthy purposes to people aged 18 to 59 years

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, co-chair of the IATF, said the task force is waiting for the message from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NITAG) to see if the government can roll out AstraZeneca to senior health workers and the next-generation in line

“We leave it to NITAG to decide which brand of vaccine can be used in the different population groups This includes prioritizing “At the moment, the instruction is not to use Sinovac on seniors,” he said

“With the introduction of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the matter will be decided by NITAG. There are no age restrictions on the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Nograles. “So we will be waiting for NITAG advice”


Reports showed that regulators in Europe are divided on whether the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines should be given to the elderly in the UK, the vaccine has been approved for use in adults aged 18 and over However, France, Germany, Sweden and Austria stated that priority should be given to those under 65 years of age

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the government has restricted the movement of seniors as they are prone to the disease

With the launch of the Sinovac vaccine last Monday and the arrival of another batch from AstraZeneca this week, Nograles was optimistic that the majority of Filipinos will have confidence in the vaccines

“We acknowledge that we have compatriots who still have reservations about receiving vaccines, but we believe our Kababayan should be guided by the doctors, nurses and medical staff who received the first doses” said Nograles in a virtual briefing from Malacañang yesterday

Nograles said the commitment of doctors and nurses to the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 is commendable as they also lead the way for their medical colleagues who have doubts about developing the vaccines developed by China

Nograles vowed that the Duterte government redoubled efforts to expedite delivery of the vaccines, close to 1, expected to be raised by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 within the month of the rollout for the general population is expected for the third quarter of this year

“The government will mobilize all of its resources to ensure the supply of these vaccines and get them in place at the earliest opportunity, but this is only half the battle To triumph in the war on COVID-19, every Filipino qualified for the vaccine should be vaccinated, “he said

Also with the possible effect of the B1351, or South African variant of the effectiveness of AstraZeneca vaccines, the OCTA research group claimed Filipinos should be vaccinated with anything they are offered

“Any percentage of protection is better than zero percent,” said OCTA colleague and molecular biologist P Nicanor Austriaco said in an interview with The Chiefs on One News / TV 5 on Wednesday night

“If people ask me (I tell them this) you should get the vaccine that you are being offered because we don’t currently know what will happen in a few weeks with respect to B1351,” he added,

At an earlier press conference, Austriaco warned that the discovery of B1The 351 variant in Pasay City could impact government rollout of vaccines She cites a study that shows the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the new strain drops dramatically from 70 percent to 10 percent

The paper, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, caused the South African government to stop introducing UK-made vaccines

According to Austriaco, he raised concerns about how important it is for the Philippine government to curb the B1351 variant

But that doesn’t mean Filipinos should turn down AstraZeneca, he said, citing the plan to develop booster shots to improve effectiveness against different variants

During the same program, OCTA colleague Guido David also reiterated the need to step up biosurveillance activities to see if a new variant is spreading in Metro Manila – Christina Mendez, Janvic Mateo

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Vaccine, AstraZeneca, Rodrigo Duterte

News – PH – WHO calls for strict adherence to the list of priorities
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Source: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/03/05/2082124/who-calls-strict-compliance-priority-list