‘So far, so good’: Covid-19 vaccine roll-out dry run ‘went well’ – DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The simulation exercise for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout last Tuesday “generally went well” despite some “bottlenecks,” the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
“Generally, it went well. So far, so good, sabi nga ni Secretary [Francisco] Duque,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press briefing.
“Kapag tiningnan po natin mula po sa airport hanggang sa makarating sa RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) hanggang sa makarating sa kani-kanilang hospital na atin pong pinagdala, nakita po natin na the efficient process was there. We were able to simulate and we were able to undertake the different processes in lesser time expected,” she added.
(We saw an efficient process in the transport of the vaccines from the airport to the RITM and to the hospitals. We were able to simulate and undertake the different processes in less time than expected.)
However, Vergeire said a road accident occurred when the vehicles transporting the vaccines during the dry run were passing through the South Luzon Expressway on the way to RITM, which prompted vehicle operators to take another route.
“These kinds of things, although small, will affect our transport delivery distribution,” she said.
According to Vergeire, another challenge in the exercise was securing enough space in the airport for the containers of the vaccines.
“‘Yan ang napansin na major from yesterday’s drill but basically as I have said ito ay naging maayos and we were able to achieve ‘yung objective ng simulation,” she said.
(Those are the major challenges we experienced from yesterday’s drill but basically, it went well and we were able to achieve the objective of the simulation.
Vergeire further noted that the manufacturer-prescribed temperature for the vaccines should be maintained so the drug will not lose its potency and be wasted.
She added that DOH has already instructed supervisors of vaccination sites to come up with a quick substitution list to ensure that someone could take the place of individuals who might back out and not show up on the day of vaccination.
The government said it expects the arrival of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines from the global vaccine sharing scheme Covax Facility by mid-February. This batch will be the initial shipment of 117,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that will be given to healthcare workers in select hospitals.
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