Villanueva: Gov’t should conduct vaccination practice runs
MANILA, Philippines — The government should conduct “practice runs” of Covid-19 vaccination to simulate how ready the country’s health infrastructure is in giving shots to millions of Filipinos, Senator Joel Villanueva said Thursday.
Villanueva, chair of the Senate committee on labor, said that the test runs would also allow the government to “fix kinks, plug manpower shortages, and give a realistic idea on how long would it take to inject a certain number of people.”
“This is an important ‘dress rehearsal’ we cannot do without,” he said in a statement.
“Kung wala pong ‘Take 2’ ang mass vaccination, hindi ba dapat choreographed na ito [If mass vaccination does not have a ‘Take 2,’ should it not be choreographed]?” he added.
The senator noted that other countries like the United States also held simulated exercises of vaccination.
“They did practice runs and they timed each phase from taking ‘boxes’ out of warehouses, loading these into planes, and trucking them to local hubs under police escort. And then finally bringing them to administering sites where volunteers were waiting,” he said.
He said a similar action could be done in the Philippines so that vaccine recipients will know the drill once the vaccines arrive, adding that “the last thing we need is organized chaos to spoil the day we have been waiting for.”
Test runs for vaccination will also determine if enough manpower and equipment are available for the program, according to Villanueva.
Villanueva pointed out that with the government’s plan to secure 148 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines this year, about 421,000 doses should be administered a day for beneficiaries for the rest of the year.
“Does the national government have the adequate resource capacity to achieve this? How many more healthcare workers would be needed? Will, there be changes in the emergency hiring strategy?” the senator asked.
The Senate will resume its hearing on the government’s vaccination plan on Friday.
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