The Department of Health (DOH) has chosen this city as among the pilot areas in the country for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination next year.
Dr. Rochelle Oco, acting head of the City Health Office, said Tuesday they have been instructed by the agency to start the necessary preparations for the rollout of the vaccination program in the area.
Citing information from DOH-Region 12 director Aristedes Tan, she said the vaccination is targeted to start by February.
“This is good news for us because the city is an economic hub and frequented by people from other areas on a daily basis,” she said in an interview with reporters.
She said City Mayor Ronnel Rivera is fully supporting the move and directed the immediate creation of a technical working group (TWG) for such purpose.
The TWG will spearhead the establishment of a plan for its rollout, which will cover the utilization of the vaccine allocation as well as the identification of the recipients and the priority areas based on the city’s Covid-19 spot map, she said.
The spot map identifies the barangays and communities that have high rates of disease transmission and vulnerable individuals.
Oco, who is also the incident commander of the City Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, said the priorities for vaccination include health workers and other front-liners, vulnerable groups, and poor residents.
She said the DOH has not yet indicated the manufacturer or brand of Covid-19 vaccines that will be used for the program pending the arrival of the stocks.
But she assured the city has enough cold storage facilities that may be used in case the government will deliver the vaccines developed by drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech.
Oco said they are initially planning to use the quick response or QR-coded enhanced quarantine passes earlier issued to residents by the local government to facilitate the systematic rollout of the two doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
She said the vaccination teams will not conduct house-to-house visits due to the continuing emergence of locally transmitted infections but will provide them in fixed posts in strategic areas within the city’s 26 barangays.
Source: Philippines News agency