Gov’t to ensure safety & efficacy of COVID vaccines, DOH-CAR assures

BAGUIO CITY– The Department of Health Center for Health and Development Cordillera assures that as evaluations into and negotiations for various Coronavirus Disease (COVID – 19) vaccine candidates continue , the government will ensure the safety and efficacy of the vaccine before making it available to the Filipino people.
DOH–CAR Regional Director Dr. Ruby Constantino, in a Kapihan media forum on Wednesday, shared that as of December 29, 2020, 60 COVID– 19 vaccine candidates are on clinical evaluation, of which 15 are already in the third phase of clinical trials.
“Among these investigational products in the most advanced stage of testing, three have already applied to conduct clinical trial in the country, namely; Sinovac, Gamaleya and Jannsen. Moreover, Clover Biopharmaceutical, a Chinese– Australian Pharmaceutical company, has also applied its vaccine candidate (currently at Phase I) for a clinical trial in the country,” Constantino said.
“Through Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, negotiations are also underway to ensure access to other vaccine candidates. Rest assured that all these clinical evaluations to be done shall ensure the safety and efficacy of vaccines before making them available to the public,” she said.
While waiting for the vaccine trials, Constantino calls on the public to remain vigilant and continue to observe the minimum health standards, highlighting the importance of avoiding crowded and confined spaces, maintaining physical distancing, wearing of face masks and face shields, and minimizing social and oral interaction activities.
On the COVID – 19 situationer, Constantino reports that Cordillera ranks 6th among the regions in the country in terms of the most number of confirmed cases as of January 2, 2021 national data. It is classified as “Low Risk” using the Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR) of 4.37 and 2 – week growth rate of less than six percent.
As of Jan. 5 data of DOH – CAR, Cordillera has 8,340 confirmed COVID – 19 cases, of which 91.63% or 7,642 already recovered and 113 died for a case fatality rate of 1.35%.
Despite the low risk classification and the high recovery rate, Constantino advises the public not to be complacent as there are some areas in the region that are being closely monitored because of increased ADAR such as Baguio City; Mankayan, La Trinidad and Itogon in Benguet; Tinglayan in Kalinga and Daguioman in Abra.
Constantino said they expect increase in the number of cases within the next two weeks as people get back into routine after the Christmas holidays. **JDP/CCD-PIA CAR

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