[UPDATED] “To V or Not To V” webinar on COVID-19 vaccines

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

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“To V or Not To V,” a free internet forum and webinar on COVID-19 vaccines, will be held on 13 February 2021, at 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. Interested parties may register at The webinar will also be live-streamed on the Facebook pages of the organizers, the UP Alumni Association (UPAA) Davao, the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao, and the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao.

The webinar is a contribution to the ongoing discussion whether to vaccinate or not to vaccinate oneself against the COVID-19 disease, a topic that is presently being debated worldwide, more so in the Philippines with its recent experience on vaccines. Through the webinar, the UP community hopes to help in the Filipino’s decision-making process. “There are many perceptions about the issue and it’s best to hear from the experts,” said UPAA-Davao director Atty. Glenn Cedeño-Sorila. “Participants to the webinar get a chance to type in their questions in the Zoom chat box which will then be conveyed for the speakers to answer,” said PGC Mindanao director and UP Mindanao faculty member Prof. Lyre Anni Murao.

Dr. Willy Tan, Manager for Global Product Development – GCMC Vaccines of Pfizer Inc., will talk on “Vaccine Development and Manufacture.” The topic on “The Science Behind Regulatory Process for Evaluation and Approval of COVID-19 Vaccines” will be discussed by Dr. Nina Gloriani, Head of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Vaccine Expert Panel and member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines Scientific Steering Committee for COVID 19 Solidarity Vaccines Trials. Finally, Davao City Health Officer Dr. Ashley Lopez will talk on the “Davao City COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.” Welcome Remarks will be given by Cabinet Secretary Atty. Karlo Nograles, who is also co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. In his opening remarks, Atty. Nograles will also give an overview of the national government’s vaccination roadmap. Dr. Celia C. Castillo, a doctor of internal medicine, will be the moderator for the forum. Closing Remarks will be delivered by UP Mindanao Chancellor Larry Digal. Atty. Cedeño-Sorila will serve as the event host. The webinar is a public offering for the 26th anniversary of UP Mindanao.

[UPDATE] Dr. Teodoro J. Herbosa, Medical Adviser/Consultant to the National Task Force against COVID-19 and UP executive vice president, will represent Sec. Carlito Galvez in the webinar to talk on the "National COVID-19 Vaccination Roadmap."  


University of the Philippines, Mindanao is celebrating its 26th anniversary this month of February, and so I am congratulating and truly thankful to the UP Alumni Association Davao and the Philippine Genome Center Mindanao, for successfully organizing this online forum and webinar on the COVID-19 vaccination issue in line with our anniversary celebration. I need to specifically mention UPAA Davao director Attorney Marie Glenn Sorila, UP alumna Dr. Celia Castillo, and Philippine Genome Center Mindanao director  Professor Lyre Murao. This activity would not have been possible without your active support. I also acknowledge the invaluable inputs and insights provided by Cabinet Secretary, Attorney Karlo Alexei Nograles, chairperson of the Interagency Task Force, Dr. Willy Tan of Pfizer, Dr. Nina Gloriani, head of the DOST Vaccine Expert Panel, and member of the WHO Philippines COVID-19 Steering Committee, and Dr. Ashley Lopez, our Davao City Health Officer.
I hope that through this webinar we have contributed to efforts in increasing awareness of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program and enlightening the public to decide as to whether to get vaccinated or not. UP Mindanao, for its 26th-anniversary celebration, is transcending towards a resilient recovery in the new normal. Since 2019, many of our alumni know that UP Mindanao has been aggressively gearing towards expanding its programs to make a dent in Mindanao’s development. They know because this expansion program was presented in the Regional Alumni Institute assembly that year. A major part of this expansion is the establishment of three colleges and 16 new programs. One of the colleges is the College of Medicine. With the onslaught of the pandemic, we configured our priorities and this college was even magnified to become part of a bigger initial initiative, which we call the Mindanao Health Initiative. This initiative includes two other components, a Davao City-UP Hospital, which will be established on our campus, which will become also the teaching hospital of the College of Medicine, and the Mindanao Center for Research and Innovation for One Health. The latter builds on the network developed by PGC Mindanao in assisting various COVID-19 testing laboratories in Mindanao and their research work on the pandemic and as an accredited testing Center for African Swine Fever. So UP Mindanao is well-positioned to contribute significantly in a resilient recovery. Daghang salamat sa tanan!