Cebu City looking for vaccination site for BHWs in south district

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THE 1,600 doses of AZ vaccine delivered to Cebu City on Sunday, March 21, which are intended for barangay health workers (BHWs) and health care workers in private clinics, cannot be used yet.

The Vaccine Advisory Board (VAB), with Vice Mayor Michael Rama as the convenor, disapproved of conducting the vaccination at the Don Bosco Youth Training Center (DBYTC) in Barangay Punta Princesa after a vaccination simulation was conducted there on Friday, March 19.

City Councilor David Tumulak said he will try to find another site as soon as possible since the vaccines have to be used within six days.

Tumulak said the VAB did not like the DBYTC since it lacks ventilation and bathrooms. The site is also not person with disability-friendly.

“The vaccine board was informed about the venue (even before the simulation). Everything was prepared, but Rama said the venue won’t do,” Tumulak said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Rama said the DOH 7 and the Department of the Interior and Local Government 7 assessed the site during the simulation.

“So putting all observations together, it is wise that we should get something better than that area,” he said.

Tumulak said they are looking at using malls as vaccination sites. However, the mall operator and the City Government have to sign a memorandum of agreement.

Rama said Tumulak is currently negotiating with the management of SM City Cebu.

Tumulak said the City Council has yet to take action on the matter as the council is waiting for the legal opinion from the City Attorney’s office.

He said several factors have to be considered in selecting a vaccination site, such as the availability of water, power and internet connection; proximity to a hospital; and the size of the area.

Tumulak said they’ve ruled out using public schools since these are “dusty” and most have poor ventilation.

More than 10,000 health care workers have been inoculated in Cebu City.

On Monday, the DOH 7 also delivered 300 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Mandaue City.

The vaccines are intended for the staff of the City Health Office (CHO), BHWs, contact tracers and personnel of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO), said CHO head Dr. Dominga Obenza.

She said they will inject all 300 doses as they have been instructed that the allocation was only for the first dose.

The Mandaue City Government started its vaccine rollout on March 11, injecting medical workers in public and private hospitals first.

City Councilor Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, committee on health chairperson and head of the vaccination and immunization team, said they’ve already prepared the list of 300 frontliners who will be vaccinated.

She said they have a quick substitution list (QSL) on hand in case a frontliner doesn’t pass the screening during the vaccination.

She said she was on the QSL, which was why she was injected with the CoronaVac vaccine of Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech Ltd. at the Mandaue City Hospital. (JJL, KDF)