BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The Bacolod government submitted for approval its proposed vaccination roadmap to the Department of Health in Region 6 last week, Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who is the chairman of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Council, said.
During their virtual meeting Thursday, Leonardia told members of the CoVaC that once the proposed vaccination roadmap is approved, it will be the official guidelines of the city government in its mass vaccination against Covid.
He said the proposal was prepared by acting city health officer, Dr. Edwin Miraflor, and Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center deputy for medical and data analysis, Dr. Chris Sorongon.
Leonardia also said that the proposal was personally submitted Wednesday by City Administrator Em Ang, who is the CoVaC coordinator and executive director of the EOC.
BACOLOD ON TOP FIVE
Bacolod is among the first LGUs in the country that negotiated to procure its own supply of Covid-19 vaccines. It is one of the top five cities with the biggest order for vaccines, along with Davao City, Quezon City, Makati City, and the City of Manila.
Having reserved 650,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Bacolod is poised to kick off its vaccination program in the third quarter of the year.
“Our vaccines will come possibly in July but we would like to keep the ball rolling. What we want for Bacolod is that when the vaccines come, everything is smooth and in order,” Leonardia said.
The CoVaC, that was created through Executive Order No. 83 issued by Leonardia on Dec. 22, is in charge of planning, supervising, and implementing programs and activities related to the vaccination roadmap.
Leonardia said the roadmap contains systematic and methodical guidelines of profiling and registering those who want to be vaccinated, adding that the CoVaC shall endorse a system of profiling and/or identifying priority sectors for the Covid vaccination program, in accordance with national guidelines.
He said the profiling and registration shall endeavor to create a system of online or digital registration of vaccines for ease in the assignment of vaccination centers, and monitoring of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) compatible with the Covid-19 Electronic Immunization Registry (CEIR) of the DOH.
The roadmap also contains the detailed preparations of the vaccination centers, vaccination storage facilities, human resource, logistics and supply, AEFI, and information education campaign.
Ang said they do not have data yet on how many residents have registered for the vaccination program since it is still ongoing in the barangays.
What the EOC has, right now, is the data of those who registered online and the list of the frontliners, who will be prioritized in the vaccination campaign, Ang said.
She added that they are facing some challenges in encouraging the residents to join the vaccination program.
She said they feel that they need to do more education campaigns to allay the fears and doubts of the residents about the vaccines that hinder them from participating in the vaccination program.
Ang lamented that many are afraid because they believe the wrong information they read or heard about the vaccines, hence an extensive education campaign is necessary.
Leonardia met with the representatives of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas and the Negros Press Club in a virtual meeting Saturday, and urged them to help in the city’s Covid vaccination campaign.
Ang said the EOC Speakers’ Bureau, composed of doctors and other experts, will be scheduled for interview in various mainstream and social media to spread the right information about the vaccine.
Joining the CoVaC meeting over the weekend were Vice Mayor and local Inter-Agency Task Force head El Cid Familiaran, vaccination centers action team head Councilor Renecito Novero, Liga ng mga Barangay president Lady Gles Pallen, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president Ayesha Joy Villaflor, City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit head Dr. Grace Tan, Bids and Awards Committee chairman Maphilindo Polvora, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, Social Services head Pacita Tero, and Dr. Hector Gayares of the EOC. Also present were Engineer Loben Rafael Ceballos of the City Engineer’s Office, EOC data management head Edrian Robete, Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Western Visayas president Dr. Rommela Tiples-Ruiz, Philippine College of Physicians president Dr. Michael Thomas Salvador, EOC medical deputy Dr. Anna Maria Laarni Pornan, One Hospital Command Center head Dr. Claire Capiral, and executive assistant Teresa Manalil.*