The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) administered 15,249 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters in Marawi City through the PRC Mobile Bakuna Team, fully inoculating 7,657 persons from 2021 to 2022. The PRC Bakuna Team supports the city government’s vaccination efforts at the City Hall Gym in Barangay Bangon, Marawi City.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon encouraged Filipinos again to get vaccinated and those who are qualified to have the first or second booster shots to get them. “When the world no longer watches, the Philippine Red Cross does what must be done. We will support the local governments in the fight against Covid-19, until our country is safe from the threat of the pandemic,” Chairman Gordon said.
Other places in Mindanao where PRC conducts Covid-19 vaccination and boosting are Agusan del Norte, Bukidnon, Cotabato City, Davao City, General Santos City, Gingoog City, Iligan City, Maguindanao, Misamis Oriental, Sarangani, Surigao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, and Zamboanga City. To date, 120 vaccinators have been mobilized and one Bakuna Bus has been deployed in Mindanao.
The Covid-19 vaccinations are part of PRC’s Covid-19 response across the country. As of 17 November 2022, PRC has administered 1,252,865 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters in the whole country, fully vaccinating 377,388 persons.
The Covid-19 pandemic upended the lives of vulnerable people living in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas of Mindanao. In line with this, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has been escalating its Bakuna buses operations in Mindanao to improve vaccine adherence and increase vaccine uptakes in the region, especially in the high-risk population.
As of date, PRC’s Bakuna Buses and Bakuna Centers with Bakuna Teams, have administered a total of 325, 066 vaccines — 76, 876 individuals fully vaccinated and 51,238 persons boosted — in the region of Mindanao.
On 12 November, PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon, ICRC officials and ICRC Vice President Gilles Carbonnier visited General Santos City to see the “Bakuna Bus” operations. “We have been doing this [Covid-19 vaccination programs] for almost two years. Ang kaibahan lang, dati nasa station ang ating mga vaccination drive pero ngayon mayroon ng mga buses. Ginagamit ang mga ‘to para mailapit ang bakuna sa mga taong nasa malalayong lugar. Ngayon, mas pagiigtingin natin ang pagbabakuna, partikular sa mga bata,” said PRC Chairman Gordon.
ICRC Impressed with PRC’s Bakuna Buses
ICRC Vice President Carbonnier, meanwhile, expressed his admiration for PRC’s humanitarian activities, “I am very impressed by the Philippine Red Cross, the commitment of the people, the sophistication of the different activities […]. I believe that regionally, it is key for me to come here to the Philippines especially because ICRC has many humanitarian activities in Mindanao. These are important operations that we will keep having, and I think it is important for us in ICRC to come and see with our own eyes what we collectively manage to do.”
“ICRC has always been supportive of the Philippine Red Cross’ Covid-19 interventions. They donated buses, equipped with a vaccine administration area and supplies, while we provided a cadre of volunteers to perform the task. Sa PRC, hindi pwedeng balewala ang mga binibigay na oportunidad para makatulong kasi hangarin namin na maiangat ang mga tao — hindi kami nag-aabot, kami ay nag-aangat ng mga tao,” Chairman Gordon explained.
In addition to Covid-19 vaccination programs, PRC is also planning to further expand its vaccination drive against vaccine-preventable diseases (i.e., typhoid, rubella). From 2019 to 2020, PRC, through the support of ICRC, vaccinated 127, 302 children against polio and measles-rubella. The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the immunization programs for these contagious diseases, placing children at higher risk of health complications.
More than 2,000 clients and patients from Baguio City, Bataan, Batangas City, Bulacan, Ilocos Norte, and Pangasinan availed themselves of medical and health services from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Health Caravan from October 1 to 22, 2022. One of the communities reached was Barangay San Jose, San Miguel, Bulacan, which experienced severe flooding in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Karding in September.
An initiative of PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon, the Health Caravan serves as the conduit for delivery of basic health services to the most vulnerable communities. It is also an opportunity for nurses and doctors to volunteer with the PRC. Through its Health Caravan, the PRC promotes and protects health and prevent diseases.
“Laging nandyan ang Red Cross para magbigay ng essential health and medical services sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” Chairman Gordon said.
In partnership with the local government units, the PRC Health Caravan is organized by PRC chapters’ volunteers and staff, with support from the Health Services Unit of the PRC National Headquarters. The program offers a combination of the following services: health consultation, health and hygiene promotion, first aid lecture-demonstration, Covid-19 vaccination, and bloodletting and blood typing services. Hot meals and health kits are also distributed to participants in some areas. The PRC Health Caravan has served around 10,000 clients and patients across the country since it started in March 2022.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to intensify its actions against Covid-19. As of date, the 20 PRC Bakuna Buses, since their deployment in 2021, have administered a total of 488, 201 Covid-19 vaccines and boosters in 151 cities and municipalities across the country. Aside from targeting vulnerable populations (i.e., elderly, students, etc.), the Bakuna buses also aim to deliver vaccine services to workers who are less likely to get vaccinated because of work-related reasons (e.g. schedules).
“Makakaasa ang ating mga kababayan na mananatiling kasangga ng mg lokal na komunidad ang Philippine Red Cross sa pagsugpo sa pandemya. Patuloy naming ilalapit ang aming serbisyo at bakuna sa pamamagitan ng Bakuna Centers at Bakuna Buses sa ating mga kababayan na nasa vulnerable communities,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.
The PRC “Bakuna” Buses, a fleet of buses equipped with a vaccine administration area and supplies, are designed to alleviate the crisis in the accessibility of Covid-19 vaccinations to people in vulnerable situations.
The Bakuna Buses recently visited Hospicio De San Jose, Philippine General Hospital, Far Eastern University, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Navotas, Laguna, and Zamboanga, and difficult-to-reach areas in Mindanao. To date, with the assistance of UBE Express, Victory Liner, Ceres Liner, and PRC-owned buses, the PRC “Bakuna” buses have completed a total of 1,220 mobilization trips across the country.
We have seen increasing COVID-19 cases and positivity rate especially in the National Capital Region (NCR) during the past week.The positivity rate in NCR is up to 18.9% as of September 28, 2022 from 17.5% on September 21.
However, growth in new cases, or the Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR), has decreased from 1.28 on September 19 down to 1.10% as of September 26 but rose sharply to 7.42 per day per 100,000 population as of September 29, 2022.
This is considered MODERATE RISK for a surge in new cases of COVID-19 in the metro. We are seeing that the main cause of this rise is the increased mobility of people due to the opening of classes and less restrictive policies in the use of public vehicles (full capacity now).
The good news is that health care utilization rate still remains low at 35% as of September 28, down from 38% on September 21, 2022, according to the OCTA Research Group.
Richard J. Gordon, Chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), continues to warn the public to be vigilant and not complacent, to be on guard, to still practice the Minimum Health Protocols of MASK (Wear Masks in crowded places and indoors), IWAS (practice social distancing even in schools or public transportation), HUGAS (wash hands frequently, especially after touching objects like car doors, stair railings, jeepney or bus handles, and door knobs and elevator buttons). It is also important to still go for testing using RT-PCR when possible. ALL symptomatic clients can be tested in the nine Red Cross Molecular Laboratories nationwide, charged to PhilHealth. For asymptomatic contacts, we also recommend testing, especially if attending family or social gathering where there areat-risk groups like children below 5 years old and senior citizens (60 years old and older). Our testing rates are among the lowest in the country.
We at the PRC are also one with the government in the call to ramp up vaccination efforts, especially boosters for high-risk populations like A1- health care workers; A2- Senior Citizens ,and A3 – those with co-morbidities. Please get vaccinated to protect your loved ones from getting the Covid 19 Virus from YOU! You may not realize it, but your having no vaccinations put your loved ones at risk because the risk of acquiring the disease is higher in vaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals, and you, not knowning it, may bring the virus home to the vulnerable memebers of the family. Go to the nearest PRC Vaccination Centers Nationwide or coordinate with your Local Government Units (LGUs) so they can bring the Red Cross Bakuna Buses to your community, island or barangay. We have Bakuna Buses moving nationwide. LETS CONTINUE TO BE VIGILANT, COVID IS STILL HERE, MASK, IWAS, HUGAS KAMAY, BAKUNA AT MAGPATEST.
Nine months after Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) struck the Philippines, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the German Red Cross, and the Netherlands Red Cross, provided cash and emergency shelter assistance to 1,803 families in San Benito municipality, Siargao Island; Surigao City; and Basilisa municipality, Dinagat Islands today, September 15.
Part of the more than P455 million humanitarian assistance was dispensed to 1,042 families who received P5,000.00 cash assistance each and 761 families who were provided CGI (corrugated galvanized iron) sheets and shelter tool kits worth P9,600.00. The P12.5 million distributed today is part of the recovery assistance PRC allocated for victims of Typhoon Odette.
“Katulad ng sinabi ko sa simula ng 2022, hindi natin kakalimutan ang Typhoon Odette. Kaya nandito pa rin ang Red Cross para sa mga pamilyang lubos na naapektuhan, hanggang sila ay makabawi mula sa mga epekto ng Odette. Sabi nga ng Philippine Red Cross hymn, ‘When the world no longer watches, we do what must be done,’” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon emphasized.
PRC’s cash, emergency shelter, and livelihood assistance distribution also covers Southern Leyte, Leyte, Palawan, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) over the weekend deployed anew its mobile Covid-19 “Bakuna Bus,” in fulfillment of its mandate as auxiliary to the government in the humanitarian field. The bus was deployed in response to a request by Chinabank Binondo Business Center for its workers to get vaccinated and boosted. One hundred seventy-one individuals were inoculated.
The deployment was the 13th deployment of the PRC Bakuna Bus in Manila City since August 2021. Previous deployments include Hospicio de San Jose, UP Manila, University of the East, Adamson University, and Manila North Port Harbour. The PRC expressed gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to Manila City’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts.
The PRC Bakuna Bus is a bus whose interior is set up with facilities for administering vaccines, Covid-19 vaccines and supplies, and space for vaccinators. It is PRC’s way of bringing the vaccines and information to the people, assuaging their hesitations to get vaccinated. As of date, the PRC has deployed 20 Bakuna buses across the country. The Bakuna buses complement PRC’s Bakuna Centers and Bakuna Teams. More than 488,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters have been administered in these buses.
“The Red Cross continues its Covid-19 response through our Bakuna Buses, Bakuna Teams, and Bakuna Centers. We also continue to provide RT-PCR and antigen testing in our molecular laboratories,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.
As of 11 September 2022, the PRC has administered more than 1.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters across the country, fully vaccinating over half a million persons. The Department of Health continues to educate the people that the protective effect of vaccines is maximized only when at least 70% of the population are vaccinated.
Mandaluyong City, Philippines – Today, September 8, 2022, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) announces its COVID-19 Antigen Test, a faster and cheaper COVID-19 testing alternative.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said that starting this Thursday, PRC’s molecular laboratories at the PLMC Building in Mandaluyong City and the PRC Port Area Offices will be offering COVID-19 antigen tests for Php400.00.
“The pandemic is still here, and there is still a critical need in our country to continue testing. Although Omicron infections appear milder, there is a need to urge caution because the virus is still spreading. Now with our COVID-19 antigen testing, PRC can provide diagnosis in minutes. With the price of 400 pesos, it is within reach of our people,” said Gordon.
Booking an appointment for PRC’s antigen test can be done through book.redcross.com.ph.
The country’s foremost humanitarian organization reminds the public that RT-PCR Swab and Saliva tests are still the gold standard when it comes to detecting COVID-19. Both are still available at the PRC molecular laboratories.
PRC is at the frontlines of this pandemic, winning our war against COVID-19 through its innovative actions, including the establishment of molecular laboratories to test the population. The first laboratory started operation in April 2020, the first of its kind in the country. Since then, PRC has tested almost 6 MILLION swab and saliva samples for CoVID-19. Testing is important to know who among the population is positive in order to have these people treated and isolated from the general public.
“Ang Philippine Red Cross ang kauna-unahang nagkaroon ng automated RT-PCR tests sa Pilipinas. Araw-araw, sinisikap ng aming volunteers at staff na laging maging una, laging handa, at laging nandyan para sa ating mga kababayan sa panahon ng emergency at sakuna. Maraming nasagip na buhay dahil sa mga laboratories ng PRC,” Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has administered 14,501 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in Lanao del Sur province, through the PRC Bakuna Bus, resulting in over 7,000 people fully inoculated and/or boosted. Lanao del Sur is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, where PRC has an active vaccination campaign.
Lanao del Sur is currently under Covid-19 alert level 1. Other places where PRC conducts vaccinations in Mindanao are Tawi-Tawi, Cotabato City-Maguindanao, Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro, Davao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, and Zamboanga City.
The vaccinations are part of the PRC’s Covid-19 response across the country. As of July 20, 2022, PRC has administered 1,211,091 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including boosters, in the whole country, fully vaccinating 375,059 persons.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon constantly encourages Filipinos to get vaccinated or boosted. “Ang aming chapters sa Red Cross ay patuloy na nagbabakuna laban sa Covid-19 upang maging ligtas ang lahat sa banta nito. Mayroon tayong Bakuna Teams, Bakuna Buses, at Bakuna Centers,” Chairman Gordon said.
All 14 Philippine Red Cross (PRC) molecular laboratories across the country received Certificates of Proficiency for 2022 from the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM). The proficiency tests, given annually by RITM to DOH-accredited molecular laboratories, are part of RITM’s quality assessment post-accreditation for the real-time detection of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes CoVID-19.
All 14 molecular laboratories of the PRC passed the proficiency tests, which consist of Nucleic Acid Extraction, PCR Master Mix Preparation, Real-Time RT-PCR, RT-PCR results interpretation, and RT-PCR results reporting. All 14 PRC laboratories needed only one take to meet the RITM requirements.
The PRC’s molecular laboratories are located in (1) PRC National Blood Center, Mandaluyong City, (2) PRC Logistics and Multi-purpose Center, Mandaluyong City, (3) Port Area, Manila, (4) Ilagan City, Isabela, (5) Subic, Zambales, (6) Clark, Pampanga, (7) Batangas City, (8) Mandaue City, Cebu, (9) Passi City, Iloilo, (10) Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, (11) Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, (12) Surigao City, Surigao del Norte (13) Cotabato City-Maguindanao area, and (14) Zamboanga City.
The first laboratory started operation in April 2020. Since then, PRC has tested 5,605,651 swab and saliva samples for CoVID-19. “Ang Philippine Red Cross ang kauna-unahang nagkaroon ng automated RT-PCR tests sa Pilipinas. Araw-araw, sinisikap ng aming volunteers at staff na laging maging una, laging handa, at laging nandyan para sa ating mga kababayan sa panahon ng emergency at sakuna,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.