MANILA – A larger area with enough space should be considered in identifying vaccination sites for the rollout of the Covid-19 immunization program so that minimum health standards are observed, National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar, Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., said on Tuesday.
Galvez said the vaccination centers for the immunization program are supposed to be identified by local government units (LGUs) in coordination with their respective health offices.
“As much as possible ang inaano natin ay ‘dun tayo sa mga hospitals pero nakikita natin because of the pandemic na kailangan merong disperse at saka meron larger area at mga rooms na mga division (For the vaccination sites, we are considering hospitals, but because of the pandemic, we see that there is a need to disperse and there should be larger areas and rooms for divisions) so that we can segregate people,” Galvez said during the visit of the Covid-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team, led by the National Task Force (NTF) and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in Pasig City.
Galvez said the room arrangements during elections could be replicated during the vaccination campaign.
“Yung ating model sa elections, parang ganun din ang gagawin natin eh na talagang very massive and also dispersed in a sense na magkaroon ng tinatawag nating social distancing atsaka yung minimum health protocols natin (Our model here is the room arrangements during elections that it should be very massive and also dispersed where we can observe social distancing and the minimum health protocols),” he said in an interview.
Galvez said LGUs should also prepare separate rooms for the inoculated individuals during the vaccination, to monitor the effects of vaccines after patients are administered with the shot.
The government, he said, is flexible to accept any recommendation from LGUs as to where to conduct vaccination activities.
“We are very flexible since there are only limited hospitals and we wanted to vaccinate as much as possible or at least 100,000 to 200,000 [individuals] per day so that we could get the 70 million this year,” Galvez said.
Galvez said it would take around 250,000 individuals inoculated daily to complete the vaccination of 50 to 70 million Filipinos.
“So with that, we need more vaccination centers. We need more vaccinators and also we need to maintain minimum health standards,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said the city government is targeting to utilize public school facilities as Covid-19 vaccination sites in Pasig City.
Sotto said public schools could be the best venue for the city-wide vaccination program.
He added that people could observe minimum health protocols, such as physical distancing, within the identified vaccination area.
“Dito po sa Pasig, nakita po namin ‘yung best site. Best venue po para sa ating vaccination site ay ang ating mga pampublikong paaralan kasi ito po ‘yung may space, may kuwarto, nae-exercise ‘yung social distancing at may ventilation po (Here in Pasig, we saw that the best venue for our vaccination site is our public schools because they have space, they have rooms, people could practice social distancing and they have proper ventilation),” Sotto said.
“Magpapaalam naman po tayo sa DepEd (We will ask permission from the Department of Education),” he added.
Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said LGUs were already ordered to identify and prepare for the national immunization program.
DILG earlier issued a memorandum circular urging LGUs to prepare for their respective local vaccination plan which includes the conduct of early vaccine communication campaign, preparing a master list of local priority sector, identifying possible vaccination centers, and available cold chain storage facilities as well as other logistical requirements needed. (PNA)