With the continuous arrival of millions of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has urged local government units (LGUs) to ramp up their vaccination efforts in order to reach 4 million jabs nationwide by end of next month.
“I am therefore calling on our LGUs to increase their capacity for vaccination so that we can administer 3 to 4 million jabs a month starting this June, ” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
Año said that the target in the National Capital Region is to do 120,000 jabs a day starting next month with the help of the private sector that already started simulation exercises with supply chain experts.
The country has so far received 7.764 million total vaccine doses from various suppliers including the COVAX facility as of May 11, 2021, with 83 percent of this distributed to 3,688 vaccination sites across the country.
He said that following the center of gravity principle, more vaccines will be allocated to the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Pampanga, Cebu, Davao, and other areas with high number of active cases to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The DILG Secretary also dismissed speculations from Dr. Tony Leachon that the government might not be able to attain the vaccination target as 1.5 million AstraZeneca vaccines delivered on May 8 are set to expire by the end of June.
“The 1.5 million AstraZeneca vaccines have already been deployed to various LGUs nationwide. One million of these will be taken as the first dose while some 525,600 doses have also been reserved for the second dose,” he said.
Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that to utilize the millions of vaccines already distributed and the millions more in the pipeline, LGUs can prepare by doing microplanning and simulations for ramped up vaccination.
LGUs must identify additional possible vaccination sites, available local cold-chain storage facilities, and transportation mechanisms. “Additional vaccination sites may also be visited by the DOH (Department of Health) if the LGU needs assistance,” he said.
Possible vaccination sites to be utilized for inoculation include infirmaries (private and public), Rural Health Units, health facilities of other government agencies, private clinics, schools, barangay halls, and other open-air establishments.“LGUs must also develop a firm workflow for particular vaccine requirements from storage to transport and administration,” he said. SOVEREIGNPH