10 vaccination sites being mulled for Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Visayas Inter-Agency Task Force for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) chief implementor Melquiades Feliciano presented to the Cebu City Council the initial vaccine plan for the upcoming vaccination program.
Feliciano faced a full council on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, to discuss how the vaccination program will roll out in Cebu City once it will be finalized.
He said that the city will have to identify vaccination sites in strategic areas in the barangays such as sports complexes that would be viable for vaccination. The more sites the better, although it may also be more costly.
A single vaccination site must have the capability of administering 700 doses of the vaccine per day, and if the city has 10 sites, this means that 7,000 will have been vaccinated in a single day.
Cebu City is targetting to vaccinate at least 700,000 individuals in 10 months to achieve herd immunity.
Feliciano said that the cost will be higher however because there must be storage facilities in each site, albeit temporary, so that the vaccines can be transferred from the regional storage to each of these sites.
From the source to the regional storage, the pharmaceutical companies will make sure the transport is completed.
Still, if the city is determined to push through with the 10 sites, the vaccination program will be computed faster. Prioritization on the vaccination will still focus on frontliners, but they will not be vaccinated with the general public in the common sites.
“Frontliners have their own vaccination program. They will have their own schedule and site,” said the Visayas IATF chief.
For now, there is no assurance on the type of vaccine that the city will get from the national government or how many. The city has not also decided on the brand of vaccine it will purchase yet.
However, the Visayas IATF already said that those who will be beneficiaries of the vaccine program cannot choose what vaccine they will get.
They can only choose whether they will avail the vaccine or not. If they have allergies to components of the vaccines, a beneficiary may refuse to be inoculated, and if the beneficiary shows severe signs of allergies upon the first dose, they will no longer be inoculated with the second dose.
Feliciano said that the national government is already working on finalizing the logistics for the vaccination program on their end. He encouraged Cebu City to prepare its own plan as well.
The councilors agreed that preparing the vaccination plan must be of top priority especially informing the public on the program for a more efficient implementation.
In particular, Councilor Alvin Dizon has called on the conduct of COVID-19 vaccination dry runs in order to know and understand the complications that may arise during the actual rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines and help the government assess how ready it is with the city-wide vaccination.
He also asked to commission a survey in order to determine the vaccine acceptability among constituents and come up with a data-driven or evidence-based approach for the city’s vaccination program. /rcg
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