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Department of Health Announces Arrival of XBC, XBB Variants, Calls for Calm. Ex-Pfizer Director Calls for Halt to F2F School, Ramped Boosting, and Congress to Consider Mandatory Vaccination.
Comirnaty provided by Pfizer is currently the main product being pushed in the Philippines. NZ relaxes Covid-19 Restrictions. DEPED has reverted F2F learning order, Hybrid learning still permitted
The Philippines Department of Health has announced the detection of new variants to Philippines. Most of the detected cases have already recovered.
In the same article DOH OIC Vergeire stated that by 15th November 2022 daily cases could be anywhere between 2,400 and 18,000, not yet accounting for the new variants! That sounds like very accurate modelling!
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They also announced approval of Sinovax for children aged 5 to 17, and the scraping of the One Health to be replaced with an E-Arrival card.
Link and instructions for the new E-Arrival card, here.
The DOH reassure the public and advise that these new variants have not been shown to cause more serious disease, based on international experience.
Ex-Pfizer1 Medical Director Dr. Tony Leachon, who has been very high profile and vocal around the government’s Covid-19 pandemic measures differs in opinion and is raising an alarm over the detection of new variants.
In a public facebook post he has called for urgent action!
He has also called for outdoor masking to be reinstated, F2F School to be temporarily suspended and congress to consider mandatory Covid-19 Vaccination.
He is strongly in support of the Covid-19 injections and boosters, particularly as “billions given all over the world with tolerable adverse events”.
For easy reference, the Philippines latest “Reports of Suspected Adverse Reactions Following Covid-19 Vaccination” for 30th September 2022 is here. Out of 166.4 million doses of Covid-19 Vaccines only 108,971 reports of adverse reactions are documented as received. Only 10,012 of these were serious, including only 2,704 suspected deaths. However, we are reminded and must not forget that correlation does not equal causation, and that most of these deaths can be due to comorbidities, not the vaccine received.
Between the last report which was up to 21st August and this report as of 30th September 2022, 4,782,861 additional doses of covid-19 vaccines were given. Of these, 4,493,200 (94%) were Comirnaty, made by Pfizer.
Dr. Leachon is a very highly qualified public figure and medical leader! Will the DOH follow his advice and ramp up their response to these new variants, or will they follow much of the rest of the world (86 countries listed) in relaxing restrictions and requirements despite the appearance of new variants? This remains to be seen.
DEPED WAIVES COMPULSORY F2F FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS
While DEPED has been pushing for return to full face-to-face school for students and had previously said that “normal F2F” should be reverted by 2nd November 2022 for all schools, it has now given in to teacher and parental concerns and granted private schools requests to stay with on-line / mixed on-line F2F education.
It appears that there are also public schools asking for DEPED Exemption from return to F2F. The Alliance of Concerned Teacher (ACT) are asking the DEPED to reveal how many public schools have applied for exemptions and suggesting that they have asked for exemption because they (the schools) do not have the resources and teaching staff to return to regular teaching modes.
After more than 2 1/2 years of disrupted learning there will certainly be major challenges for DEPED and our children! Friends of school age children are telling me their children simply refuse to go back to school after sheltering so long at home! I face challenges with my own children who have “forgotten” how to interact with their peers, it seems.
The whole of society needs to support our schools, our teachers, our students as they move forward to recover from the lost learning and life experience.