BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The inclusion of other government officials among the priorities in the vaccination roll-out against Coronavirus disease 2019 is being pushed by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who is also the President of the League of Cities in the Philippines.
Leonardia said that aside from the local chief executives, who were earlier reclassified as essential workers under Category A4 by the national Inter-Agency Task Force, Vice Governors, Board Members, Councilors, kagawads and other local officials should also be prioritized in the inoculation program of the national government.
But he said Undersecretary Epimaco Densing of the IATF explained that they are not ready for it yet, because the supply of the vaccines is still limited, hence, the priority for now are the local chief executives.
Nonetheless, Leonardia said he hopes for the inclusion of other government officials who are also hoping that given the fact that the need to vaccinate these officials has been communicated eventually, and as the vaccine supply improves, this will materialize soon.
The mayor stressed that the said officials are also considered frontliners since the nature of their position and the actual work that some of them do, exposed the to the possibility of contracting the disease.
The inclusion of the government officials in the priority list for the vaccination rollout was Leonardia’s personal request that he brought up with Densing during the latter’s visit to Bacolod.
Meanwhile, Simultaneous Simulation Exercises and Rollout of China-made Sinovac Vaccines were conducted in vaccination centers in ten barangays in Bacolod.
The exercises were held in Barangays 39, Alijis, Banago, Granada, Handumanan, Mansilingan, Pahanocoy, Punta Tay-tay and Pahanocoy, Emergency Operations Center Deputy for Data and Medical Analysis, Dr Chris Sorongon, said.
Sorongon lauded the physical set-up and cooperation of the barangay health workers, who volunteered for the simulation exercise as well as the help of the Police, private sectors, and the Philippine College of Physicians.
With the inoculation of 100 BHW yesterday, the total number of hospital staff and other frontliners who have been vaccinated in Bacolod using Sinovac and AstraZeneca donated vaccines, is now more than 3,000, Sorongon also said.*