DOH Told To Avoid Spoilage, Hasten Vaccine Deployment

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RESBAKUNA from Department of Health (DOH) website

By Fernan Angeles

FOLLOWING the issuance of the guidelines for the nationwide rollout of the second booster shots, Bong Go urges national gov’t, the Department of Health (DOH) had just been told to avoid spoilage of the COVID-19 vaccines by railroading the deployment of the antidotes to the local government units.

The call was issued after complaints on the alleged DOH’s snail-paced distribution to the LGUs, which eventually resulted in the spoilage of some 27 million vaccine doses last month.

 

Vaccine Supplies

In Rizal province alone, local health unit personnel said that what they’ve been getting are “vaccine supplies which are set to expire in a week from the time of its arrival.”

Taking note of the complaints, Senator Bong Go, in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, made a public call for the DOH not to store government-purchased vaccines, especially at a time when the government could hardly procure supplies in view of the economic crisis.

He also urged the health department to expedite the rollout especially in far flung areas – “Bilisan natin ang ating vaccine rollout at siguraduhing walang masasayang na bakuna. Paigtingin at pabilisin natin lalo ang pagbabakuna upang magtuluy-tuloy na ang ating pagbangon mula sa pandemya,” said Go, citing the reports of an imminent 19,000 daily case tally by the end of August.

“Dapat kahit saang sulok ng Pilipinas ay makakatanggap ng bakuna. Sisiguraduhin nating walang maiiwan tungo sa ating muling pagbangon,” he added. 

 

House To House

Guidelines for the nationwide deployment of the second booster shots for those 50 years of age and older and individuals with comorbidities between the ages of 18 and 49 have been issued by the DOH through the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center last Tuesday, July 26.

Those eligible should promptly check the announcements of their respective local government units or private sector vaccination sites for the deployment plans. They are also asked to prepare valid IDs and vaccination cards.

Orientations for LGUs and vaccination facilities are already planned as part of the preparation for the administration of second booster doses to the aforementioned groups. 

The approval for a national rollout was timed to coincide with the DOH’s nationwide PinasLakas booster campaign. Schools, malls, plazas and places of worship will be transformed into vaccination clinics as part of the PinasLakas initiative so that Filipinos can receive the potentially life-saving immunizations. 

The DOH also urged the public to contact their LGUs about the government’s house-to-house immunization programs.

“As vaccine immunity wanes over time, we are dedicated to helping our people remain protected against COVID-19. We are making it easier for as many of our people to avail of the primary series and boosters – including second boosters,” the DOH stated. 

 

Incentives

Meanwhile, Go once again asked the authorities to explore the possibility of providing incentives for fully vaccinated individuals in order to encourage others to overcome their hesitations. 

“Pag-aralan rin po dapat nang mabuti ang pagbibigay ng iba pang insentibo sa mga bakunado o magpapabakuna,” he said. 

“Para rin po ma-engganyo at tumaas ang vaccine confidence. Yung mga pribadong sektor, may sarili ring mga inisyatibo tulad ng pagbibigay ng discounts. Welcome po ang lahat ng ito,” he added. 

Although vaccinations are not required, the senator pointed out that they are still among the most effective ways to ward off the severe symptoms of the virus.

“Pinag-aralan po ito ng mga eksperto at napatunayan naman po na ang bakuna po talaga ang tanging susi at solusyon upang makabalik po tayo sa normal na pamumuhay,” expressed Go.

“Nakikiusap po ako na magtiwala po kayo sa bakuna. Marami na pong Pilipino ang nabakunahan pero may iilan pa rin po sa nag-aalangan na magpabakuna. Kaya palakasin pa po natin lalo ang ating vaccination efforts sa inyong komunidad,” he continued.  

As of July 26, the country has administered a total of 156,687,096 vaccines. A total of 71,596,166 Filipinos have been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, 16,032,142 booster shots have been administered. 

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