Davao City to conduct simulation exercise for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 February) – Members of the national government’s Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team will observe the readiness of the local government of Davao to handle the rollout of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program during a simulation exercise (SIMEX) tomorrow, February 16, Davao City 3rd District Councilor Mary Joselle D. Villafuerte, M.D., said.

In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday, Villafuerte, Committee on Health chair who authors the COVID-19 Immunization Ordinance, said the CODE team, headed by National Task Force Against COVID 19 Chief Implementer Carlito G. Galvez Jr., will observe how the local government will handle the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines upon arrival at the F. Bangoy International Airport, transfer to cold storage facility in Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), and the distribution to two vaccination sites.

Villafuerte said preparations have been made at the A. Mabini Elementary School in Bangkal, identified as one of the vaccination sites, where the SIMEX will be conducted.

The other vaccination site will be the University of Immaculate Conception (UIC), which is intended for the SPMC, according to her.

“We have readied the waiting and registration areas there (Mabini Elementary School). This has been prepared since last week. It will be inspected by the National IATF,” she said.

She said the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BionTech were supposed to arrive in the country last February 12. The Pfizer-BionTech vaccines require an ultra-cold storage facility that can meet the temperature requirement of -70 degrees Celsius.

Initial doses will be intended for the frontline health workers of the SPMC, according to City Health Office acting head Dr. Ashley Lopez.

“There seems to be a delay probably about documents… We are preparing nonetheless because the vaccines will be arriving soon,” Villafuerte said.

She said other vaccine brands that don’t require an extremely low temperature requirement could be stored at the storage facilities of the health district centers around the city.

The Department of Health (DOH)-Davao confirmed last Friday that a 33-year old male and a 54-year old female from Davao de Oro and a 10-year old male patient from Davao City have tested positive for the more infectious UK variant of the COVID-19.

As of February 15, DOH-Davao Region reported 97 new cases, bringing the total cases to 19,004, with 2,568 active, 15,658 recoveries and 778 deaths in the region.

Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 12,493 cases, with 1,310 active, 10,583 recoveries and 600 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,044 cases, Davao del Norte with 2,762, Davao del Sur with 1,298, Davao Occidental with 211 and Davao Oriental with 1,196. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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