CEBU CITY – The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) is fast-tracking inventories of the “cold chain” as part of its logistical preparations for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines which are expected to arrive in the region next month.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 chief pathologist and regional spokesperson for Covid-19, on Wednesday said the agency is currently preparing to store the medicines requiring 2 to 8 degrees Celsius temperature.
The DOH-7, she said, has existing “bio-refrigerators or household refrigerators with thermostat monitors” to be utilized for Covid-19. These refrigerators have been used as storage for other vaccines such as polio, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, among others.
Loreche said all sectors in the government and private partners have conducted conferences to bolster the logistical preparation for the anti-Covid vaccination program of the national government.
“Inventory of manpower and meetings with the rest of the stakeholders including the LGUs (local government units) and the hospitals (are) ongoing,” Loreche told the Philippine News Agency in a message.
She, however, said the health department will engage the power sector to ensure continuous electric supply and no brownouts during the storage period until the moment the vaccines are pulled out from the cold chain system for administration.
The DOH-7, she said, will make sure to avoid spoilage of the vaccines.
“We are still in the planning and reviewing of the vaccine map and guidelines,” she added.
Loreche said the DOH-7 has been engaging through “meetings and dialogues with all agencies in both private and government, hospitals, medical specialists, LGUs, pharmaceuticals, and the rest of the stakeholders” for a successful inoculation of Central Visayas residents.
In his visit to Cebu for the first leg of the Pagduaw 2021 on Jan. 19, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said Cebu, along with other metropolitan areas such as the National Capital Region and Metro Davao, will receive their Covid-19 vaccine either on the third or fourth week of February.
Healthcare workers, senior citizens and indigents will be prioritized in the inoculation process which targets to immunize 2 million Filipinos by April, Andanar said. (PNA)