BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
In anticipation of the arrival of more vaccines in the next several months, local government units in Negros Occidental are being urged by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to be ready to handle the bulk of vaccines to be allotted to them.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental has put in place measures to expedite the Covid-19 vaccination rollout in all 31 local government units of the province by conducting a simultaneous inoculation in the towns and cities starting Thursday.
A total of 3,792 vaccines were transported to the different LGUs in Negros Occidental on June 17 and 18, of which 623 were unutilized, as reported by the provincial government on its social media account.
“The reason why the provincial government decided to really push our LGUs is to prepare them for the arrival of more vaccines that will be spread all over the country,” Lacson said. “We should be ready.”
With the arrival of more vaccines, Lacson said they will increase the number of the vaccines to be given to LGUs, adding that Victorias City can inoculate 1,000 residents in a day, as confided to him by Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca.
Areas covered by the simultaneous vaccination on June 17 and 18 were the cities of Escalante, Cadiz, Victorias, Talisay, Bago, La Carlota, Himamaylan, Kabankalan, and Sipalay, and the municipalities of Salvador Benedicto, Toboso, Manapla, E.B. Magalona, Murcia, San Enrique, Pontevedra, Binalbagan, Candoni, Ilog, Cauayan, and Hinobaan.
Under the new guidelines issued by Lacson, the Provincial Health Office has been directed to deliver the exact number of vaccines required by each LGU, as stated in the list of vaccinees submitted by the city or municipality, on the day of the scheduled vaccination.
Lacson said they will closely monitor the performance of LGUs, and will reward those who are fast in their vaccination activities, by giving them more vaccines.
LGUs that utilized 100 percent of the vaccines given to them were Sipalay City, Candoni, Ilog, Salvador Benedicto, Isabela, La Carlota City, Bago City, Valladolid, Murcia, Talisay City, EB Magalona, and Escalante City.
Meanwhile, Lacson said the Pfizer vaccines will only be administered at the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City and the Negros Residences in Bacolod City, due to its special storage requirement.
He said that the LGUs will be given their Pfizer allocations after the Sinovac vaccines are fully utilized, based on the first in, first out protocol.
Negros Occidental recently received 1,950 vials of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines from the Department of Health. Each vial of Pfizer, a new brand of vaccines dispatched to the province last week, is equivalent to six doses, or 11,700 doses in total.
Lacson has required the LGUs to submit the list of their vaccinees to the PHO and the priority groups remain to be A1 to A3. On the scheduled date of vaccination, Negrenses will have their inoculation at the TLJPH or at the Negros Residences, he added.
Frontline healthcare workers belong to A1 category, senior citizens under A2, and adults with co-morbidities in A3.*