Vax sites ready for disasters: DOH

Vax sites ready for disasters: DOH

MANILA – Vaccination sites across the country are prepared in case disasters strike, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

In an online media briefing, DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said vaccination sites have been instructed on how to deal with disasters such as power outages, flooding, and strong rains to ensure that these do not affect the vaccination process.

In the case of heavy rains, she said vaccination sites with no backup power are required to transfer to larger vaccination sites within the locality or seek help from the regional vaccine operations cluster.

“Meron po tayong ganitong mga pamamaraan para hindi masisira ang bakuna, makakapag-tuloy tayo ng bakuna sa ating mga kababayan (We have ways to prevent vaccine spoilage, we will be able to continue vaccination for our people),” Vergeire said.

Prioritization of older age groups

Vergeire said the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to divide the A4 vaccine priority group into age clusters is in keeping with policies of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the COVAX Facility.

“If we do this, it is aligned with what WHO has recommended and therefore, COVAX din (too),” Vergeire said.

She said the clustering of vaccinees according to age would only happen if vaccine supply remains limited.

“Kapag ginawa natin ito sa A4, atin pong sisiguraduhin, kung hindi naman sukat ang dadating, na maging age-stratified para ma-address din natin ang mas vulnerable compared to the rest (If we do this to the A4, if there is not enough supply, it will be age-stratified so that we can address the most vulnerable),” Vergeire said.

The IATF-EID released Resolution 117 that ordered local government units to continue to provide prioritization for vaccinations to the A1 to A3 groups (health workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities), while those aged 40 to 59 among the A4 group (frontline workers in essential sectors) are given priority over those 18 to 39 years old.

She added that the National Task Force Against Covid-19 has ordered that vaccine doses donated by the COVAX Facility would be used for the A1 to A3 groups while government-procured vaccines will be given to those in the A4 group. Raymond Carl Dela Cruz / PNA –