Walk-ins, anxiety, cause bottleneck in vaccine roll-out in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The vaccine roll-out among barangay health workers in Cebu City has been so far successful, but not without its challenges.
City Health Department (CHD) officer-in-charge, Doctor Jeffrey Ibones, said that one of the problems they faced is the sudden arrival of walk-in vaccinees who were not preregistered to the program.
Since these health workers are still entitled to the vaccines, they had to be accommodated, but Ibones said they took time having to go through the process of registering them.
The doctor said that all those who want to avail of the free vaccines must be pre-registered so that all their information will already be encoded in the system including their health status.
The pre-registration is also another form of prioritization since the vaccines are limited and those who were pre-registered will be prioritized in the roll-out.
Aside from the walk-ins, Ibones said another cause of delay is the raised level of anxiety among the vaccinees characterized by increased blood pressure.
“Naay mga nitag-as gyod ang blood pressure kay nakulbaan mao na medyo naa tay backlogs sa vital signs assessment. Aside from that smooth na atong process,” he said.
In Robinsons Galleria, where health workers from the South District are being inoculated, the vaccinees had a tendency to be scared before the actual shot, which cause more time in the assessment areas and counseling areas.
Still, so far, all the vaccinees proceeded with the shot and there were no back-outs from the health workers.
Ibones said they will now take this into consideration for the mass vaccine roll-out in the city soon, as residents may feel anxious prior to getting the shot.
They may make the areas larger or focus on adding more counselors or assessors if need be. The finalities of which will still be discussed by the city government.
For now, the target of the CHD is to innoculate at least 1,500 health workers in the next three days and finish all the vaccines.
As of now, at least 300 have already been vaccinated in the two sites, Robinsons Galleria and the University of Cebu Banilad Campus.
Though there may not be enough vaccines for all health workers, Ibones assured more vaccines will soon come for the prioritized groups.
As for the planned mass roll-out soon, Ibones said the city will need augmentation in the number of individuals who will be manning the vaccination sites.
The CHD does not want to stop the other vaccine programs for children, and so there will be a need to hire more vaccinators or staff for the ten vaccination sites. /rcg
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