The Department of Health (DOH) welcomed Wednesday, February 3, the significant developments in the coronavirus vaccines developed by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and the Gamaleya Research Institute of Russia.
The J&J recently announced that its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine is 85-percent effective in preventing severe disease.
“Magandang balita iyan, hindi lang sa ating bansa kung hindi sa lahat ng bansa kung magkakaroon nga ng ganitong bakuna na isang dose nalang po [That is good news, not only for our country but for other countries as well—- if there is really a vaccine that will only require a single shot],” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during the televised “Laging Handa” briefing.
“Unang-una, operationally, napaka simple na ng gagawin, wala na tayong hahantayin na period of time para makapagpabakuna for the second dose. At dito sinasabi din, isang turok lang sayo, makukuha mo na yung efficacy na kinakailangan ng isang katawan para ikaw ay maproteksyunan [First of all, operationally, it is very simple to do, we do not have to wait for a certain period of time to get vaccinated for the second dose. And with just one dose, you can get the protection that your body needs],” she added.
Vergeire said the Philippine government has ongoing negotiations with J&J to secure doses of the pharmaceutical firm’s COVID-19 vaccines.
Meanwhile, the DOH spokesperson also lauded the recent announcement of Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute that the efficacy of Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 is at 91.6 percent.
“Itong 91 percent na efficacy…ito po ay magandang balita at sana tayo ay magkaroon ng ganitong bakuna din kasama nung ibang mga bakuna to provide additional protection for our population [This 91 percent efficacy … this is good news and hopefully, we will have this vaccine as well as other vaccines to provide additional protection for our population],” said Vergeire.
However, all COVID-19 vaccines that will enter the Philippines must first be scrutinized by the country’s health regulators.
“Katulad ng lagi nating sinasabi bago tayo magpapasok (ng bakuna) sa ating bansa, kailangan dumaan sa ating regulatory process so we can doubly ensure na ito ay ligtas at saka magiging epektibo para ating populasyon [As we always say before we allow a vaccine to be used into our country, they have to go through our regulatory process first so we can doubly ensure that it is safe and it will be effective for our population],” said Vergeire.