LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Department of Health (DOH) has set a two-day training course for local health officers ahead of the rollout of the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination program.
Dr. Mercy Calpito of the provincial health office said Friday the training course, scheduled on January 26 to 27, would be attended by provincial and municipal health officers, rural health physicians, national immunization program coordinators, supply and logistics officers, and local epidemiology and surveillance officers.
The provinces of Abra and Ifugao will hold a similar training course on the same dates while Apayao, Kalinga, and the Mountain Province will conduct theirs on January 28 and 29. Baguio City completed its training on Friday.
Calpito said a total of 24,668,128 individuals are included in the priority population for the vaccination drive, which includes medical front-liners, senior citizens, indigents, and uniformed personnel.
Meanwhile, Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas said they have begun profiling their residents ahead of the vaccination rollout to determine those who are willing to be vaccinated.
“We should participate with the Department of Health in prioritizing who to vaccinate,” Diclas, a physician by profession, said, adding that they have begun with health personnel.
He noted that the province is not joining local government units (LGUs) that would buy vaccines.
“The province is not rich. We do not have funds to buy our own so we will wait for the allocation from the national government,” Diclas said.
He also said the provincial government and the 13 towns are not buying or preparing storage facilities for the vaccines.
“When the vaccines arrive, let us inoculate our people based on the list so that we do not have to keep or store them anymore,” Diclas said.
Benguet legislative caretaker, Rep. Eric Go Yap, is also working closely with the national government and has proposed a partnership with the private sector to secure vaccines for the people of Benguet, his chief of staff Kevin See said.
See said during the meeting of the provincial task force addressing Covid-19 on Wednesday that Yap has already coordinated with vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., to be able to secure vaccines for the people of Benguet.
He said Yap is also reaching out to the private sector, particularly mining companies in and outside the province, to help ensure vaccines for the people of Benguet.
See said the proposal is for private companies who would buy vaccines for their employees, to double the dose for donation to vaccinate poor people in Benguet who are not on the priority list. (PNA)