THE programs and daily operations of the Cebu City Health Department (CHD) may be sacrificed because of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in the city.
CHD officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said that if the Cebu City Government opens more vaccine sites and it cannot outsource or hire doctors to be deployed to the vaccine sites, some programs of the CHD will be affected.
Ibones said the CHD can still function with the deployment of its doctors to the two vaccine sites: University of Cebu (UC) Banilad and Robinsons Galleria. But if the City opens more like in SM City Cebu in North Reclamation Area, there is a need to hire or outsource more doctors.
The City now has three vaccine sites as SM Seaside City also offered its place. Doctors assigned there are from the Perpetual Succour Hospital.
Ibones said the CHD only has 38 doctors, including the job-order employees, but one vaccine site needs at least eight doctors—one for the screening stage, five for counseling, and two for the monitoring of vaccinees.
Some of the CHD programs that may be affected are the tuberculosis elimination program and doctors for the barangay health centers, especially now that one doctor handles more than five barangays.
"Karon naay apekto, but manageable pa. Kung mopuno pa ta og another sites nya atong gamiton kay atong City Health doctors, samot na gyud ta kaapektado ana," said Ibones.
(We are slightly affected, but still manageable. If we add more vaccine sites and we deploy our City Health doctors, we will really be affected.)
Ibones said that the executive department has been informed of this concern and the budget for sourcing out or hiring manpower for the CHD was already included in the supplemental budget.
Ibones said that there is a need also to open more vaccine sites since the inoculation for the second dose for the recipients of Sinovac vaccines will start by the second week of May.
The Vaccine Operations Center is now planning to come up with a strategy when the inoculation for the recipients of the second dose starts to avoid creating a crowd.
He proposed for the City to use four vaccine sites, two sites for those who will receive their first dose while the other two vaccine sites are for those who will get their second dose.
More malls are offering to use their places as vaccine sites like the Ayala Malls and Gaisano Country Mall. But with the lack of Covid-19 vaccine supply, the three current vaccine sites in the city remain closed.
Ibones said he was only told by the Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas that there will vaccines to be delivered within the week, but as to when, there are no specific details about it yet.
Ibones assured that those who were given the first dose of the Sinovac vaccine will get their second dose since there is a secured supply for the second dose.
The City temporarily stopped its vaccination rollout since April 23 when it ran out of supply of the vaccine.
READ: Cebu City’s vaccine rollout ‘on hold’ until it receives next batch of vaccines
The VOC targets to proceed to the next priority sector which is the persons with comorbidities under the Priority Code A3.
There are now close to 30,000 persons with comorbidities who have registered online for the vaccination program, while the registered senior citizens already reached around 28,000. (JJL)