KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato Province, Feb. 21— The city government of Kidapawan is exerting more efforts ahead of the awaited rollout of COVID-19 vaccine in the city anytime soon this year and in line with the mandate of the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (NTF-EID) and with the guidelines set by the Vaccination Program of the Department of Health (DOH).
Early on, Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista presented the city’s mass vaccination rollout plan to Governor Nancy Catamco, DOH Representative for Cotabato Province Dr. Marjorie Aggalot, Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) Head Dr. Eva Rabaya, City Health Officer Dr. Jocelyn Encienzo, Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Ted Calica, City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) OIC Dr. Nerissa Paalan, and other stakeholders.
“We are doing everything we can to have an organized and systematic vaccination and we started it by coming up with a comprehensive vaccination plan which is essential in the final stages of fighting the disease,” said Mayor Evangelista.
The rollout plan contains several phases which includes creation of a master list of the priority and eligible population for vaccination such as senior citizens, frontliners, and other set of vaccinee–individuals or groups, identification of vaccination sites, assignment of teams of trained human resource needed to administer the vaccines to the populace, and preparation of appropriate cold chain storage necessary to secure the vaccines the moment they arrive.
The plan also encompasses simulation or dry run of the vaccination proper where city officials are among the first ones to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Also incorporated in the plan is the actual vaccination rollout in identified vaccination sites and the post-vaccination and monitoring as well as assessment of vaccinees.
Meanwhile, a thorough coordination with the DOH, RIATF for COVID-19, RIATF-EID, and other concerned agencies is being done by the city officials led by Mayor Evangelista to make sure the vaccination plan will be properly executed according to the set schedule.
The local chief executive is highly optimistic that the moment the vaccination for priority population is completed, the city government can directly proceed in covering all the target population eligible for vaccination.
At present, the city government has identified a total of six vaccination sites. These are the Mega Tent at the Kidapawan City Hall, Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School, Kidapawan City National High School, Notre Dame of Kidapawan College, Kidapawan Doctors College, and St. Mary’s Academy of Kidapawan.
Further, the city government already prepared storage facilities for COVID-19 vaccines. These are two refrigerated vans which have -20 to -25 degrees Celsius, the required temperature for the vaccines to retain efficacy.
“It is so important that we secure the vaccines and keep its integrity from the time of its arrival and when it is being transported with these storage facilities,” the city mayor stated, adding that the city health officials of Kidapawan and the DOH XII go hand in hand in advocating the importance of the vaccination as the only way to control or stop the spread of the disease.
The city government of Kidapawan is the first among the LGUs in the province of Cotabato to formulate and present its local mass vaccination plan and is consistently beefing up its preparations ahead of the anticipated arrival of the vaccines and its subsequent rollout.
It can be noted that with the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Kidapawan, the city government has allotted some P28.9 million from the 30 percent Quick Response Fund of the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to ensure the purchase of around 49,500 COVID-19 vaccines which will cover 30% of the population of the city. At the same time, this serves as augmentation to the COVID-19 vaccines provided by the national government which will accommodate more or less 115,500 individuals representing 70% of the population of the city. (AJPME/JSCJ-CIO Kidapawan City LGU)