COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out across the globe, getting everyone’s hope up to soon see the end of this pandemic. Iloilo City (where our VMAs are based) is among the first local government units in the Philippines to prepare for vaccine procurement and distribution.
Mayor Jerry Treñas announced that the city signed a deal with the United Kingdom’s pharmaceutical, AstraZeneca, for 600,000 doses. This is ahead of the national government’s distribution plans as priorities depend on the burden of active cases per region. Iloilo City is located in the Western Visayas region with over 25,000 cases landing eighth on the list. Aside from the UK company, the local government also talked with Novovax, Janssen, Moderna, and Pfizer.
600,000 doses are enough to vaccinate 70% of the population, which the government also plans to include non-residents working in the city. The provincial counterpart also readies its operational vaccination efforts covering planning and coordination, financing and funding mechanisms, and up until post-immunization surveillance and management for the years 2021 to 2022.
Priorities are given to healthcare and health facility workers, senior citizens aged 60 years and above, and persons with comorbidities. The vaccines are estimated to arrive in July, so the city gets ready with a mock vaccination simulation to ensure a faster and safer process. 500 people participated and received free flu shots during the exercise.