‘It’s a go’: DOH OKs Bacolod City coronavirus vaccination program
BACOLOD CITY—The Department of Health (DOH) has approved the coronavirus vaccination plan of the city.
“It’s a go, so we are set,” said Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
Leonardia said he has been telling the people of Bacolod that vaccination was the key to a return to normal.
“As soon as we get to normal, we will be back to action,” he said at an online forum.
“We will be back to business and Bacolod will continue to be one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines,” he said.
Leonardia, who is president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, said 424,992 or 68 percent of Bacolod’s 624, 987 population will be covered by the mass vaccination program.
The remaining 199,995 are below 18 years old and are not on the list of beneficiaries.
Bacolod signed an agreement to purchase vaccines from AstraZeneca, making it the second local government in the country to close a deal with a pharmaceutical firm. The city paid P31 million in advance.
Vaccines for 99,992 other residents will come from additional purchases and supply provided by the national government.
The target beneficiaries of Phase 1 of the vaccination plan health workers, senior citizens, indigents, military and uniformed personnel, other workers on the frontlines, people with special needs and the remaining population of the city.
Leonardia said a vaccination council, one of the first formed by a local government, was created on Dec. 22, 2020 to prepare for mass vaccination through public-private partnership.
Bacolod has identified 27 vaccination sites to administer the vaccines to at least 13,500 residents per day, the mayor said.
But if an offer of the private sector to set up 13 more sites pushes through, the city could vaccinate up to 20,000 persons per day, he said.
Residents need to register to be vaccinated online or in village offices. A cold storage facility is being set up at city hall to house at least 2 million doses at any given time.
A massive information and awareness campaign is ongoing. Simulation is being held because, Leonardia said, “practice makes perfect.”
Leonardia had said 100 percent of the city’s villages had seen cases of infection but the number is now down to 20 percent with only 24 active cases as of Wednesday.
In Ormoc City, Mayor Richard Gomez said 131,879 of the city’s population of 240,453 would be vaccinated.
Gomez said the city’s vaccination plan, also through a public-private partnership, would be able to inoculate the target population in 14 days.
Ormoc has activated an information drive on the importance of vaccination, set up a cold storage facility and a laid out a disposal plan for used syringes.
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