Bacolod sets COVID vaccine dry run on Feb 5

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Mayor Evelio Leonardia has instructed the Bacolod COVID-19 Vaccination (CoVac) Council to conduct simulation exercises Friday, February 5, as part of the City’s preparations for its vaccination program, once the vaccines arrive.

City Administrator Em Ang, executive director of the Emergency Operations Center, said the simulation activities, which will be held at the Barangay Villamonte Gym, will test the systems and strategies of the city’s vaccination program.

The simulation will include the pick-up and transport of vaccines from the central cold storage facility and other supplies to designated vaccination areas, the actual inoculation, monitoring for at least 30-45 minutes after the person is vaccinated if there are any adverse effects, and disinfection of the venues and subsequent disposal of infectious wastes.

The vaccination simulation will be spearheaded by the City Health Office (CHO) in coordination with the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health and Nutrition Division chief, who will supervise the CHO personnel. They will be assisted by the EPI Medical and Nurse Coordinators, HEMS, HEPO, BHWs, and BHERTs.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) will also play a large role in the simulation activities.

Leonardia created the CoVac Council through Executive Order No. 83 last December 2020. The Council is designated to plan, supervise, and implement programs and activities related to the City’s COVID-19 Vaccination Roadmap that should provide Bacolodnons with access to the vaccine “at the soonest possible time with the widest and most realistic coverage possible.”

Last January 24, the CoVac Council had another virtual meeting which tackled the preparations for the vaccination simulation activity.

The CoVac Council has proposed to utilize five mega vaccination centers and 20 community vaccination centers, which will include private and public schools. Councilor Renecito Novero is in charge of the Vaccination Centers Action Team (VCAT).

The vaccination plan also includes other aspects such as information dissemination in order to encourage more people to get vaccinated, the registration of recipients according to the priority sequence set by the Department of Health (DOH), and the creation of vaccination teams and training of vaccinators.

In the same meeting, CHO officer-in-charge Dr. Edwin Miraflor reported that at least 10 teams will be deployed in each vaccination center, with each team composed of one vaccinator, one verifier, one recorder, and one assistant.

The city has programmed P300 million to procure COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that the targeted population per DOH guidelines will be inoculated for free — vaccination being the first step of the city government’s economic recovery program.

Bacolod is among the first cities to negotiate for its own COVID-19 vaccines. The City has already reserved 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to kick off its vaccination program, making it among the top 5 cities in the country with the biggest orders after Davao City, Quezon City, Makati City, and the City of Manila.

Aside from AstraZeneca, Leonardia is also in talks with other pharmaceutical companies that are developing COVID-19 vaccines.