TO ensure that Baguio meets its target of 70 percent population vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the year, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has issued an executive order creating a task force specifically to handle the city’s vaccination plans.
Under the issued Executive Order No. 23, series of 2021, Baguio City will have an Inter-Agency Task Force that will be responsible for the proper planning and implementation of the city’s COVID-19 vaccination..
Its responsibilities include not only the planning and implementation of the vaccination program but also oversight for the logistics involved, as well as advocacies promoting the program, among other related tasks.
Members are to be drawn from the participant agencies of the Department of Health – Center for Health Development Cordillera office (DOH-CHD-CAR), the Baguio City government, the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), barangay governments, and the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), as well as civil and community groups and private stakeholders.
The task force is chaired by Magalong and Councilor Joel Alangsab together, with City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo in charge of overseeing the implementation as the task force’s action officer.
The order also provides for the establishment of a Vaccination Operations Center headed by Magalong and Galpo in tandem.
On the ground, personnel filling the teams in the task force will hail from local district health centers, city hospitals, the Baguio-Benguet Medical Society, the Philippine Nurses Association-Baguio chapter, medical personnel from the Department of Education-District of Baguio, the Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Jail Management, the BCPO, and local barangay officials and the SK.
In the objective statement, the EO embodies the safe and successful inoculation of at least 70% of the target population to achieve “herd immunity.” The vaccine prioritization considers vulnerabilities, risks, and needs; and protection for those with additional risks and burdens to safeguard the well-being of others. Underlying societal, geographic, and biomedical factors should also be considered, the EO states.
The EO also focuses on not having vaccine spoilage of allocations and other materials so that transmission of Covid-19 is mitigated and mortality is reduced while protecting medical and health services providers. The availability of cold storage facilities for vaccine allocations from the point of receipt up to target vaccinees has been well-considered with assigned personnel from health facilities, the General Service Office (GSO), Department of Health (DOH) and other private partners, Galpo emphasized.
Macro, microplanning and carrying out of plans according to the national deployment and vaccination plan for Covid-19 is also focused on.
Civil society groups, community organizations and partners from the private and non-government sector, the Baguio City Police, barangays, SKs, private clinics and medical societies, hospitals shall cooperate and coordinate as to their specific functions in information dissemination campaigns; logistics, traffic, peace and security operation; manpower, transportation; reports, monitoring, and financial concerns, the EO states.
A city task force (with the mayor as chair, Councilor Joel Alangsab as committee on Health, Sanitation, Ecology and Environmental Protection officer, Dr. Galpo as action officer and members from different government and private agencies, hospitals, and medical groups as members) was also created.
The said TF will develop and enact health policies, develop and oversee the Covid-19 vaccine development plan and implementation, authorize the mobilization of resources necessary, convene the vaccination operations center as needed, and work in close coordination with the DOH National and Regional Offices.
A priority list has been released as to who will be vaccinated within the seven-day immunization schedule.
In Baguio City, field vaccination sites are at the Baguio City National High School (BCNHS) for City Camp, Aurora Hill, Lucban, Atab, Mines View, Pacdal and Quirino Hill; St. Vincent Gym is used for Irisan, Asin, Quezon Hill, Pinsao and Campo Filipino; while a wide area is being scouted for the use of Loakan, Atok Trail, Engineer’s Hill and Scout Barrio areas.
The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), Saint Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart (SLUHSH), Notre Dame de Lourdes Hospital, Pines Hospital, Baguio Medical Center, and Philippine Military Academy facilities.
Orientation, simulation, motion, and time study are ongoing for the vaccination teams.
The city’s vaccination teams shall work for 7 days, from 8 to 5 PM with a 15-minute and lunch break, with a projected 100 immunizations per day. Vaccinees are advised to “come in the best of health – had a good night’s sleep, breakfast, well-hydrated and had taken in medicines if needed”, Galpo reminded.
Vaccinees are advised to have the second dose for full protection, Galpo also said. with reports from Julie G. Fianza