BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial government of Negros Occidental has been assured by the national government of 3 million doses of vaccine for 70 percent of its population, or 1.5 million residents, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday.
On advise of provincial consultant Alfredo Benitez and reiterated by the Department of Health Western Visayas, Diaz said 117,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine will arrive in the country this week or next week.
Two weeks after, about 3.5 million to 9 million AstraZeneca vaccines, that is a national allocation, will followhe added.
While we are not optimistic about receiving a share of the Pfizer vaccine shipment, with metro cities being prioritized for its distribution due to cold storage requirements, there is a big chance for the AstraZeneca shipment, enough for the health workers and frontliners of the province, Diaz said.
“We rely on former Rep. Benitez and other Negros Occidental solons to help us secure a reasonable share,” Diaz added.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental has already purchased 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that are expected to arrive in the third quarter of 2021.
ELIGIBILITY BEING CHECKED
Diaz said the identification and registration of persons eligible for vaccination are ongoing in the province and various local government units, based on the guidelines of the Department of Health.
He added that they are also preparing the vaccinators and vaccination centers, that will include rural health centers.
During a recent zoom meeting between vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and the League of Provinces of the Philippines that was also attended by Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Diaz said that the national government also announced that it will provide consumables, such as syringes, needles, cottons, and alcohol, aside from vaccines, during each wave of inoculation.
The obligation of LGUs, he said, is to gather all garbage, including vials, and return them to the DOH for proper disposal. Diaz also said the private sector is willing to extend help in the storage of vaccines, especially that of Pfizer, that requires a negative 80 degrees Celsius storage.*