The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) started administering second booster shots of Covid-19 vaccines today, April 27, 2022, in Mandaluyong City, to the elderly and the immunocompromised. The Philippines’ Department of Health announced last April 13, 2022 that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the administration of Covid-19 second booster shots to the elderly, the immunocompromised, and frontline health workers.
PRC Chairman and CEO, Senator Richard “Dick” J. Gordon, advised the immunocompromised who are fully vaccinated and have the first booster shot to get the second booster shot if the required time interval has lapsed. “Hinihikayat ko ang ating mga kababayan na immunocompromised na fully vaccinated at may first booster shot na kumuha ng second booster shot sa akmang panahon,” Chairman Gordon said.
The spouses Ninfa and Nicanor Viray, who are both elderly and immunocompromised, had their second booster shots at the PRC today. Ms. Viray, 84 years old, is a cancer patient who just had a mastectomy. Mr. Viray, 85 years old, is a diabetes patient. They both had their first booster in December 2021. The second booster shot against Covid-19 is given at
least four months after the first booster shot, but the interval could be earlier for other patients if prescribed by a doctor.
“That we’ll be more protected from more severe symptoms owing to our age. We’d like to be as protected as possible, considering that sometimes we are also compelled to go out of the house to buy some basic needs,” was Ms. Viray’s answer when asked what she hoped the second booster shot would do. She added that getting the second booster shot is part of their taking care of themselves, because their decisions about their health affect the rest of the family.
When asked how they would encourage other members of the elderly population to get vaccinated, Ms. Viray says she would show them how she and her husband have relative capacity to still enjoy life, because they can be mobile and interact with people with confidence despite their advanced years. Mr. Viray shares that his style is personal; he talks to his friends about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Ms. Viray says they try to observe all the health protocols as much as possible, because they don’t want to abuse the new lease on life they are enjoying because of the protection that the vaccines give. Mr. Viray attests that since he got vaccinated, he has felt more assured that he is protected. The couple is keen on doing their share in educating the community about the collective nature and solution to the Covid-19 public health emergency.
The PRC’s vaccination efforts are part of its mandate as auxiliary to the government in its humanitarian tasks. The PRC started administering Covid-19 vaccines in March 2021. To date, it has administered 1,153,200 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters through its Bakuna Centers, Bakuna Teams, and Bakuna Buses nationwide. It has fully vaccinated 367,985 individuals.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in partnership with local governments, has administered more than 20,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters in Negros Occidental from 2021 to 2022, fully vaccinating 9,421 persons as of April 3, 2022. This milestone comes at a time when the province has fully lifted mass gathering restrictions in Sagay City, La Carlota City, and E.B. Magalona, Pulupandan, and San Enrique towns.
Last April 1, 2022, Negros Occidental Governor Bong Lacson issued an executive order placing Sagay City, La Carlota City, and the municipalities of E.B. Magalona, Pulupandan, and San Enrique under Alert Level 1. Under Alert Level 1, business establishments and outdoor activities are allowed 100% capacity, subject to the local government’s guidelines. The rest of the province remains under Alert Level 2.
“Patuloy na tutulong ang Philippine Red Cross sa ating gobyerno para labanan ang COVID-19,” PRC Chairman and CEO, Senator Dick Gordon, said.
As it eases Covid-19 restrictions as of April 1, the Philippines has been opened to all nationalities of foreign tourists from all countries as long as they are fully vaccinated.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Health Caravan reached Barangay San Isidro in Galas, Quezon City on March 27, 2022, and was able to serve 381 patients who came for treatment during the day.
A tri-partnership between the PRC, local governments, and together with beauty expert Ricky Reyes, the caravan is part of the PRC’s efforts to bring health services directly to the people, especially now that COVID restrictions on mobility and mass gatherings have been lifted. The caravan traveled to Rizal, Quezon City, Pasig, and Marikina from March 21 to 27, 2022.
Residents of Barangay San Isidro availed themselves of health consultations and free health kits (189 patients), health and hygiene education (93 clients), first aid training (18 trainees), COVID-19 vaccinations (12 persons), and blood glucose testing (54 patients). Hot meals were also served to those present.
“Patuloy na makikipag-ugnayan ang Philippine Red Cross sa LGUs [local government units] para makarating ang serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan,” PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Dick Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in partnership with local governments, has administered more than 30,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters in Bohol from 2021 to 2022. It has fully vaccinated 5,501 persons as of March 28, 2022.
The vaccinations are part of the PRC’s COVID-19 response throughout the country. As of March 28, 2022, PRC has administered 1,115,101 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. It has fully vaccinated 361,790 persons. Other PRC vaccination sites in Visayas include Negros Occidental-Bacolod City, Capiz. Aklan, Bogo, and Roxas City.
The Department of Health reports on its website Dashboard that 63,992,620 complete doses have been administered in the whole country as of March 9, 2022. The figure represents 59% of the total population of the Philippines of 109,035,343 as of May 1, 2020.
“Ang Philippine Red Cross ay hindi tumitigil na labanan ang COVID-19,” PRC Chairman and CEO, Senator Dick Gordon, said.
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon urged the public to get tested regularly for early detection to prevent transmission and to also get vaccinated or receive booster shots for added protection. Gordon also said that PRC is prepared for any possibility of a surge since there are PRC Molecular Laboratories, Bakuna Centers, Bakuna Buses, Isolation Facilities, and Emergency Field Hospitals available 24/7.
“Tumataas ang kaso ng COVID-19 cases sa ibang bansa, we must be ready for any possible surge. We must prevent it through practicing health and safety protocols, social distancing, sanitizing your hands, getting vaccinated, and being tested regularly for early protection,” Gordon said.
Through PRC’s 14 molecular laboratories, anyone can get tested and avail of the cheapest RT-PCR test in the country priced at only P1,500 for the saliva RT-PCR test and just P2,800 for the swab RT-PCR test. The saliva and swab RT-PCR tests are considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing.
PRC also continues to deploy its Bakuna Buses to remote areas and has a continuous operations program for their Bakuna Centers to inoculate unvaccinated individuals and provide additional protection through booster shots. To date, PRC has already conducted 5,515,453 tests and administered 1,104,478 doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
PRC has also turned unused classrooms into isolation facilities to accommodate asymptomatic spreaders. There are also PRC emergency field hospitals to serve as extension wards for other hospitals to accommodate any overflow of COVID-19 patients. The initiative of the Red Cross was started last April 2021, to provide assistance to the overwhelmed healthcare system in the country due to the increasing number of COVID-19 positive individuals at that time. Since then, PRC has cared for 5,176 individuals in the isolation facilities and 65,856 individuals in the emergency field hospitals and medical tents.