Davao City well-prepared for Covid-19 vaccines’ arrival
DAVAO CITY — The Davao City Council has approved on third reading the Covid-19 immunization ordinance that would prepare the city for the expected arrival of the first batch of vaccines here this month.
City Councilor Maria Joselle Villafuerte said key to the orderly implementation of the city’s vaccination plan would be coming up with a Covid-19 Electronic Immunization Registry, which would serve as a platform for masterlisting and registration of persons to be vaccinated in the city.
“We have to prepare the masterlist based on the national (Covid-19) deployment plan,” Villafuerte told the Inquirer by phone. “We were told that the first batch of the vaccines will be arriving within the month,” she added.
Earlier, National Task Force on Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said only local government units that are prepared would get the first batch of the vaccines.
Villafuerte said that the COVID-19 national deployment plan required the local government to come up with a master list of those who could avail of the vaccines and to identify the vaccination centers where they would conduct the vaccination drive.
“The national deployment plan requires the LGUs to identify the priority groups eligible for vaccination and come up with a masterlist for the COVID-19 electronic registry,” Villafuerte said. “Once their names are already in the masterlist, people scheduled to be vaccinated can go to the vaccination center to present themselves using their QR Code,” Villafuerte said.
She said, however, that the city government would still have to conduct a simulation activity with the Department of Health (DOH) in the region to ensure that the system would work smoothly.
Villafuerte, however, clarified that although the ordinance would ensure that the vaccines would reach the most vulnerable sectors of the city, it would not penalize nor discriminate against those who would not want to be vaccinated based on their religious or philosophical beliefs.
The ordinance also laid down those who would be exempted or excluded from the vaccines because of underlying health conditions.
Mayor Sara Duterte earlier said a city department head received a call the previous week from an official of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of emerging infectious diseases (IATF), informing the city that the first batch of the vaccines would be arriving here this month.
But the mayor said she was still asking for an official written communication as the information was only relayed to her verbally.
She said it was not certain yet what type of vaccines would be arriving although Dr. Ashley Lopez,
Davao City Health COVID-19 focal person, earlier confirmed the first batch of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines from the national government would be arriving late this month.
The ordinance identified the healthcare and frontline workers, the indigent at the top priority for the Covid-19 vaccines.
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