WHO supports ‘Brand Agnostic Policy’ in the Philippine government

Manila, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday expressed support to the Philippine government for the brand agnostic policy proposed by the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Brand Agnostic Policy proposed by the DOH and DILG means that none disclosure of vaccines brand in public to be given in vaccination sites to prevent mass gathering which might cause the transmission of the virus.

Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO Representative of the Philippines said that the vaccines are all effective in preventing deaths and the transmission of severe diseases.

To quote from Dr. Rabindra statements,

It doesn’t actually matter which vaccine you’re receiving. So we should try to manage the situations where people congregate and create situations where transmission may increase.

And if not announcing the vaccine brand will help with that, I think this is a correct step in the right direction because this will help us to manage these kinds of super spreader events from happening and will also encourage people to accept the vaccines that are being rolled out. So we are supportive of this effort.

On May 23, the Philippine government urges the Local Government Units (LGUs) not to disclose the vaccines brand after the following incident that the vaccines developed by the American drug maker Pfizer has been administered in vaccination sites in mall that caused the crowding of people.

Dr. Abeyasinghe said that vaccines hesitancy in the Philippines is not actualy an issue.

Actually, the issue is that the vaccine supply cannot meet the demand. We know that the Philippines has traditionally had some vaccine hesitancy. What we are seeing now is that people are eagerly ready to receive vaccines and it is in some situations, local governments unable to keep up with the demand. So it’s not actually an issue of vaccine hesitancy. There are many in some places preference for brand A or B of a vaccine, that should not be interpreted as vaccine hesitancy.

He added that the Philippine government must follow the prioritization of vaccines set by the COVAX facility.

The COVAX facility committed to provide vaccines to cover 20 percent of the population of the Philippines and indeed, all countries that signed on to the COVAX facility, and that 20 percent of the population was determined to be the frontline healthcare workers and the elderly population. The COVAX facility vaccines are used to maximize the impact on the pandemic by reducing deaths, by ensuring that the frontline healthcare workers are actually protected and reducing congestion in the hospital settings

DOH Secretary Harry Roque reminded the public that all vaccines are equal, they were studied thoroughly and all of them are safe and effective.

Vaccine Updates

So far, the country has received a total of 5.5 million doses of SinoVac COVID-19 vaccines from which 1 million doses were donated by the Chinese government.

The Philippine government has distributed at least 7,671,120 doses of COVID vaccines as of May 18, 2021. Each person need 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

As of May 22, 949,939 individuals were fully vaccinated and 3,147,486 received their first dose of vaccine. The government has administered a total of 4,097,425 doses of vaccines.

The government achieved a 7-day average of vaccinated individuals of 108,540. The government also assures that the vaccines is free for all.

The government targets to vaccinate 70 million people by the end of the year. 

COVID-19 updates as of May 24, 2021

The number of active cases in the Philippines has increased by 4,973. The total active cases in the Philippines are now at 48,917.

As announced by the DOH, there were 6,666 new recoveries giving the total number of recoveries to 1,115,806. Complete details are presented in the table below.

ClassificationNo. of Cases
New Cases4,973
Recoveries6,666
Deaths39
Total Active Cases48,917
Total Recoveries1,115,806
Total Deaths19,983
Total Covid-19 Cases1,184,706

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