Vaccine in Iloilo City. “Kamo lang anay una,” seems to be the unified response of Ilonggos when asked if they would be willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine is expected to arrive later this year, but would there be any willing recipient? Here, we list updates about COVID-19 vaccine in Iloilo.
Iloilo City signs multilateral agreement
Last January 10, the Iloilo City Government signed a multilateral agreement for the advance purchase of AstraZeneca AZD 1222 vaccines (amounting to USD 3 million). The local government has allotted Php 200 million for the purchase.
“I just signed our multilateral agreement on behalf of the City of Iloilo for the purchase of AstraZeneca Vaccine. It was made possible because of the support from our national government thru Vaccine Czar Sec Carlito Galvez and DOH Sec. Francisco Duque. After a year since this pandemic started, this is a sign of hope that we are closer to our lives before Covid-19. Magbinuligay lang kita, kay masarangan ta guid ni! Bato Iloilo!” – excerpts from a social media post by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.
City Government makes an advance payment
The Iloilo City Government is expected to make an advance payment for the purchase of 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas made the announcement via his social media page.
“Today [February 19], I signed the voucher for the advance payment of 600,000 doses for 60% of the population in Iloilo City. The President has signed a memorandum yesterday allowing advance payment over 15% of the contract price for vaccines procured by the LGU. Hopefully, with the advance payment by next week, the vaccines will be available to the Ilonggos by July of this year.” – excerpts from a social media post by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.
World Health Organization on the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine
The World Health Organization (WHO) releases ‘The Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know’ detailing interim recommendations from the WHO Strategic Advisory of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) for the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (AZD1222). The WHO article answers the following questions. Here are some highlighted questions.
Is it safe? While this vaccine has yet to be recommended for an Emergency Use Listing by WHO, it has undergone review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and consequently meets WHO’s criteria for SAGE consideration. The EMA has thoroughly assessed the data on the quality, safety, and efficacy of the vaccine and has recommended granting conditional marketing authorization for people aged 18 and above.
The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, a group of experts that provides an independent and authoritative guide to the WHO on the topic of safe vaccine use, receives and assesses reports of suspected safety events of potentially international impact.
Who is the vaccine not recommended for? People with a history of severe allergic reactions to any component of the vaccine should not take it. The vaccine is not recommended for persons younger than 18 years of age pending the results of further studies. The recommended dosage is two doses given intramuscularly (0.5ml each) with an interval of 8 to 12 weeks. Additional research is needed to understand longer-term potential protection after a single dose.
How efficacious is the vaccine? The AZD1222 vaccine against COVID-19 has an efficacy of 63.09% against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Longer dose intervals within the 8 to 12 weeks range are associated with greater vaccine efficacy.
Does it work against new variants? SAGE has reviewed all available data on the performance of the vaccine in the settings of variants of concern. SAGE currently recommends the use of the AZD1222 vaccine according to the WHO Prioritization Roadmap, even if virus variants are present in a country. Countries should assess the risks and benefits taking into consideration their epidemiological situation.
Preliminary findings highlight the urgent need for a coordinated approach for surveillance and evaluation of variants and their potential impact on vaccine effectiveness. As new data become available, WHO will update recommendations accordingly. Other questions can be viewed via the World Health Organization website.
Ilonggos encouraged to get vaccinated
The city government is urging the public to get vaccinated to boost their defenses against COVID-19. According to Treñas, the vaccine will pave way for people to return to normal life and bring back economic activities. He also stressed that the vaccine will be free. Moreover, to strengthen efforts, Treñas asked for the support of radio stations, media, and influencers for a massive information and education campaign.
The locality targets 70% of the population for the community to achieve herd immunity.
Aside from AstraZeneca, City Hall is also eyeing additional supplies from US-made Pfizer, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine arm Janssen. These will cover those non-residents working in the metropolis.
“We are readying vaccines that are free, safe and effective. The only way we get protected is through vaccines and stop the spread of virus through vaccination. We are meeting every sector to address every concern. It’s been a year that we are struggling and fighting against the virus. Unless we get our acts together for a seamless vaccination process, then we will be moving forward toward healing and recovery,” – excerpts from the social media post by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.
Doctors assure COVID-19 vaccine is safe
According to the former President of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID), Dr. Ludovico Jurao, the vaccines have undergone clinical trials. Dr. Jurao adds that it is normal to have pain at the injection site, fever, and body pain after vaccination. He adds that the vaccine will boost defenses against the virus.
“Influenza was a pandemic and so many people died. The vaccination process went into effect and now we are just living with influenza. Granting nga may adverse reaction gid man, as far as the vaccine at the moment is concern, ang claim naton is they prevent severe diseases,”states Dr. Ludovico Jurao. Statement taken from an article entitled‘‘Trust Science’; Experts dispel myths, allay vaccine fears’ published in Panay News.
“We should trust medical experts who developed the vaccines. They devoted many years studying different infectious diseases. “We are bombarded with so many information. Let’s take this as a challenge to filter the information nga mabasa naton,” states Dr. Yvette Silubrico, Vice President of PSMID Western Visayas Chapter.
Local government educates the public about vaccine
The Iloilo City Government is exploring ways to persuade people that the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine is safe and beneficial. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas also expressed that he is willing to get vaccinated to ease the safety concerns of the majority.
As part of the local government’s information drive, Ilonggos are encouraged to watch ‘The Vax’, a collection of videos providing substantial information regarding vaccination, its types, safety, side effects, etc. Here are the videos:
- How do vaccines prevent disease?
- What are the different types of vaccines?
- What are the possible effects of vaccination?
- Why do we need to get vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine?
- Why gets the vaccine first?
- Are COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective?
- What are the complications when given COVID-19 vaccine?
Compilation of The Vax Videos:
Watch: How vaccines work and why vaccines matters?
Watch: How do vaccines prevent disease?
Watch: What are the different types of vaccines?
Watch: Why do we need to get vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine?
Watch: Are COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective?
What are the complications when given COVID-19 vaccine?
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas joins in the information drive in a video entitled ‘One on One with Mayor Treñas’.
Updates will be added here at the soonest. Stay tuned.