PH gov’t to roll out COVID-19 vaccination program starting February 15 – Palace
Robie de Guzman • February 8, 2021 • 330
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is eyeing to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination program starting February 15, Malacañang announced.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said among the first to receive the vaccines are healthcare workers from hospitals that serve as main COVID-19 referral facilities including the Philippine General Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, and the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Metro Manila.
The incoming initial batch of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech totaling 117,000 doses will be used for the inoculation of healthcare workers included in the initial master list from hospitals, he added.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supply under the COVAX facility is expected to arrive in the second or third week of February.
The government aims to complete the administration of vaccines to healthcare workers in less than a month.
“So, inaasahan po natin na sa buong linggong ito, sa buong buwan na darating ay at least lahat iyong medical frontliners at saka iyong immediate na may priority ay at least nasimulan na. Pero definitely, hindi po aabot ng isang buwan para matapos natin ang lahat ng mga medical frontliners,” Roque said.
The government is aiming to vaccinate up to 70 million people against COVID-19 this year, with priority given to healthcare workers, senior citizens, the indigent population, and uniformed personnel. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Davao has identified seven vaccination sites for the expected rollout of the COVID-19 immunization plan this month.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Davao City Health Office (CHO) head Dr. Ashley Lopez said that aside from the A. Mabini Elementary School in Bangkal, they have already identified additional vaccination sites for the city.
These are the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), University of Southeastern Philippines, Ateneo de Davao University-Matina Campus, and three branches of the University of Mindanao namely Guianga, IIang, and Bolton campuses.
Lopez said each vaccination site will have three teams comprised of 18 members.
A separate composite team will also be an deployed to the site to monitor any adverse effect on recipients following the immunization.
“We have already organized our vaccination teams composed of at least six members per team made up of a supervisor which is a physician, registration, and screening also a physician or a nurse or a midwife, one counselor, one vaccinator and two staff that is responsible for recording and documentation,” he said.
“For monitoring, we have the paramedic nurse and midwife and surveillance officer [that] we will put up in the vaccination site, composed of three teams, that’s about six staff that will be responsible for the composite team,” he added.
Security personnel will be also deployed to maintain peace and order in the vaccination areas, Lopez said.
“For our queuing and crowd control, we have tapped local officials from the barangay captains, security personnel from PNP and barangay tanods, which is more or less 20 designates for a particular vaccination site,” he added.
The city health office also instructed district health offices in Davao City to identify at least one vaccination site within their area of responsibility.
“Aside from these seven approved vaccination sites in Davao City, we will going to add up additional at least 13 to 14 more vaccination sites from the district health offices,” he said.
Davao City earlier conducted simulation exercises in preparation for the arrival, transport, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the city.
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it has started security preparations for the rollout of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
PNP Major General Alfred Corpus, director of Directorate for Operations, said the PNP Security plan called Oplan Caduceus, is comprised of three task groups on cold chain and logistics management, immunization program, and demand generation and communication.
The program entails the security for the transfer of the vaccines from storage hubs to identified vaccination centers and sites in the country.
“Pagdating ng vaccine sa airport, meron na pong security coverage ang kapulisan. Kapag ito ay itrinansport sa storage kasama pa rin po kami, pag distribute sa different distribution centers, kasama pa rin po yung inyong mga pulis, hanggang maiturok po yung vaccine sa mga recipient, nandon pa rin po ang inyong mga pulis,” Corpus said.
The PNP said its regional offices nationwide have also been instructed to escort the transport of vaccines to prevent criminal elements and other threat groups from taking advantage.
Police officers will also be deployed to assist health workers in administering COVID-19 vaccines to recipients.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier ordered the PNP to secure all COVID-19 vaccines and protect the teams that will be administering them to avoid possible delays and disruption.
This is in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order for police and soldiers to help maintain order and security, as well as augment forces particularly in remote sitios and barrios, during the vaccination campaign.
Duterte earlier asked the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to allow the free and safe passage of the COVID-19 vaccines particularly in areas where they have a degree of influence.
The CPP agreed to the president’s request but urged the government not to use military or police vehicles in transporting the vaccines.
The communist group earlier said that vehicles transporting the vaccines must be clearly marked with a red cross over a white back ground to avoid being mistaken as a military vehicle.
Malacañang, however, rejected the rebels’ request, stressing that the government will push through with its plan to mobilize military and police assets to assist in the vaccination program. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
The number of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases reported globally continues to decline, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
In a regular press briefing in Geneva on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the decline in global COVID-19 cases has been observed for the fifth consecutive week.
Tedros said that so far this year, the number of weekly reported cases has fallen by almost half, from more than 5 million cases in the week of January 4 to 2.6 million cases in the week starting February 8.
“This shows that simple public health measures work, even in the presence of variants,” he said.
Tedros, however, stressed that what matters now is how the world will respond to this trend.
“The fire is not out, but we have reduced its size. If we stop fighting it on any front, it will come roaring back,” he said.
In the hopes of bringing the pandemic under control, Tedros said the WHO has given emergency use listing for two versions of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be rolled out globally through COVAX facility.
The WHO emergency use listing assesses and assures the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, and is a prerequisite for vaccines to be distributed by COVAX.
In addition to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, these are now the second and third vaccines to receive emergency use listing.
“We now have all the pieces in place for the rapid distribution of vaccines. But we still need to scale-up production, and we continue to call for vaccine developers to submit their dossiers to WHO for review at the same time as they submit them to regulators in high-income countries,” Tedros said.
The WHO chief emphasized that ensuring the rapid and equitable rollout of vaccines is essential in saving lives and livelihoods, as well as stabilizing health systems and economies.
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