By Billy Begas
The Department of Health (DOH) will ask Congress to extend the validity of the fund under the Bayanihan to Recover As One (Bayanihan 2) for the hiring of vaccinators.
In a briefing at the House of Representatives Tuesday, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the P368 million was allocated for the hiring of vaccinators. However, the validity to use the fund is only until June 31, 2021.
She said some 3,000 vaccinators have been hired.
Cabotaje said the government will also mobilize health workers from the military and other government agencies.
She said some private companies will also be using their own healthcare workers to vaccinate their employees.
“They (private companies) are also repurposing some of the health workers that they are not actively using so that they will not deprive the hospitals from health workers, ‘yung mga nasa clinics lang nila, nasa pharmacies. So we are complementing our efforts,” Cabotaje said.
Meanwhile, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said vaccinating 120,000 individuals per day in the National Capital Region Plus (NCR plus) is achievable.
“For inoculating more or less 1 million to 3 million a week we need 52,000 vaccinees (vaccinators). And the NVOC—the National Vaccination Operations Center is continuing hiring… and we have to involve and open more or less 5,000 vaccination sites. It includes mega vaccination sites… and also the medium sized hospitals and also health care facilities that can inoculate 400 to 500 people a day,” said Galvez.
At present, Galvez said more or less 1,700 vaccination sites are in operation.
“We are activating vaccination sites, we are training people, we are hiring even… pharmacists and other medical related volunteers and some of the retired medical practitioners,” Galvez added.
Galvez said the government needs 25,000 to 50,000 vaccinators in order to “escalate and accelerate” the inoculation.
Big bulk of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to arrive in June and the government is preparing for the conduct of a massive vaccination.