LGU Baguio to wrap up vaccination plan

The city government has almost completed its vaccination plan, according to City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña and City Health Officer Rowena Galpo.

The city officials are currently aligning the city’s vaccination plan with the prioritization framework prepared by the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group and the Department of Health (DOH) Technical Advisory Group and approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

During the regular session on February 8, Dr. Rowena Galpo presented a portion of the city’s vaccination plan to the city council.

“The objective of the action plan is to have an effective and efficient COVID-19 vaccine deployment in the City of Baguio,” Galpo stressed.

According to Galpo, a vaccination technical working group will be created with Mayor Benjamin Magalong as the chairperson, Councilor Joel Alangsab as the co-chairperson, and herself as the action officer.

A vaccination operation center will likewise be established. The operation center will have a cold chain and logistics team, coordinating team, vaccine safety surveillance and response team, and communications advocacy and partnership team.

The Health Officer stressed that these teams will get in touch with various regional agencies in the city so as to achieve a whole-of-society approach in implementing the vaccination program.

Sixteen health centers have been identified as vaccination sites with the Baguio City High School as the main vaccination site.

Every health center will have two or three vaccination teams. The target number to be vaccinated by each team is 100 individuals per day.

Moreover, Galpo added that the five hospitals in the city (Baguio General Hospital, Pines City Doctors’ Hospital, Fort del Pilar Station Hospital or formerly known as PMA Hospital, Hospital of the Sacred Heart – Saint Louis University, and Notre Dame De Chartres Hospital) will also have their vaccination sites.

Galpo said that the COVID-19 vaccines procured by the national government are expected to arrive in the city by the third week of February.

As the online registration for vaccination continues until February 22, simulations will take place in certain vaccination sites before the actual implementation which will commence within February 20 to 28.

Asked about other means of registration besides the online registry, Galpo said the health centers may also serve as registration sites where individuals who are not familiar with technology may be given assistance.

Meanwhile, Galpo acknowledged that the demand for enough manpower for the registration process and the short period of time left are some of the challenges encountered at the moment.

Galpo reiterated that the city government is targeting 80% of the city’s population which is roughly around 191,000 following the principle of herd immunity.

According to Dela Peña and Galpo, the city government is coordinating with non-government organizations to intensify its information dissemination campaign. There is a pressing need to educate the citizenry so that the COVID-19 vaccines will be widely accepted, they stressed.

Dela Peña told the council that the city government is almost ready for the implementation of the vaccination program. However, the list of priorities to be inoculated in line with the national government’s guidelines has yet to be finalized, he said. -Jordan G. Habbiling