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.

‘Di pwedeng siksikan: Galvez shares criteria for COVID-19 vaccination site

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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.

READ: Galvez: No compromises on PH’s South China Sea claim despite COVID-19 vaccines from China

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.

READ: Walang tapon! Galvez: Nat’l gov’t coordinating with LGUs, private sector to avoid COVID-19 vaccine wastage

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)

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POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

May parusa ‘pag umayaw! AFP requires soldiers to be vaccinated vs COVID-19

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) inoculation is mandatory for all of its personnel but they have the option to choose among vaccine brands other than Sinovac at their own expense.

“Thus, to get inoculated or not is not an option for the members of the AFP, it is a duty. At the most, the exercise of an option will be the option to as to what brand of vaccine they will be availing of, but the cost of which will not be paid by the AFP,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in an online press briefing.

Malacañang earlier announced that the first batch of Sinovac Biotech vaccines composed of 600,000 doses donated by China is set to arrive on Sunday (Feb. 28), with 100,000 doses of which will be given to the Department of National Defense, the AFP’s mother agency.

Aside from military personnel, Arevalo added that their chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana has said that their dependents must be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, those opting for other vaccine brands who decided to forego their inoculation can do so but once they are called to duty to serve as front-liners, they will have no choice but to follow.

“They must perform their duties and task but they will have to resort to the traditional health protocol, mag-mask, mag-shield, maghugas ng kamay at mag-maintain ng social distance pansamantala habang hindi pa sila natuturukan ng vaccine na pinipili nila (like the wearing of mask, face shields, regularly washing their hands, and maintaining social distance while they are yet to be vaccinated with the brand of their choice),” Arevalo said.

Meanwhile, said AFP personnel assigned and performing duties that will expose them to Covid-19 patients are required to have themselves vaccinated with the available vaccines.

He added that the AFP will play three major roles in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine — security, medical and logistics support operations. (PNA)

Payag ba sa barter? Bello waiting for UK’s response to PH offer to deploy more healthcare workers

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is waiting for the response of the United Kingdom (UK) on its proposed provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine amid UK’s request for an exemption from the deployment cap of Filipino healthcare workers (HCWs).

In a telephone interview on Thursday, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they expect the UK government to respond on the issue within 10 days.

“I told them for me to be able to recommend it to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases), I have to be assured of the safety of our workers. The only way we can be assured about the safety of our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) is (through) the vaccine,” he said.

Bello said the UK may want to send the coronavirus vaccines so the country can immunize the nurses before they are deployed.

“For us to be able to send our medical workers, we want to ensure that they are safe and their health is secured. We don’t have the vaccine, if they want, they can send us (vaccine),” he added.

Bello said he did not provide specific quantities of the vaccines.

“Why not include all OFWs and not just HCWs. In case they are ready to give us the vaccines, I will give them the number of OFWs that will be vaccinated. I just want to be sure that those who will be deployed have received the vaccine,” he added.

The Philippine government is asking the UK and Germany to provide vaccines against Covid-19 for OFWs as part of the agreement in relation to the deployment of health service workers, particularly nurses.

The country has two bilateral agreements with the UK in 2002 and 2003.

The UK and Germany are seeking to be exempted from the 5,000 cap on the deployment of nurses being implemented by the government to ensure there is an adequate number of nurses in the country in case the need arises.

Meanwhile, Bello said he understands the reaction of the people on the issue.

“They thought I would barter our nurses with the vaccine. I just hope that before they accuse me, they should have asked me first and look at what really happened. They just criticized and what they are saying is not true,” he added. (PNA)



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