SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Health facilities and personnel in this Freeport are ready for the eventual release and distribution of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator Wilma Eisma said on Tuesday since the onset of the pandemic last year, the SBMA has prepared for any eventuality and has initiated various health measures to fight Covid-19.
“We don’t want to get caught empty-handed. With the anticipated arrival of Covid-19 vaccines, the medical team of the SBMA is all prepped up and ready for the vaccination program. We shall be prepared when it happens,” Eisma said in an interview.
She said the agency is closely coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines and their immediate deployment for the Freeport community.
“But since the SBMA is not a local government unit (LGU), we are looking at various ways to gain access to vaccines, including a partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, or even private companies,” Eisma said.
She said the agency would prioritize frontline health workers for the vaccination, along with senior citizens, indigent population, and law enforcement/uniformed personnel.
Should the vaccines finally arrive, Eisma said the SBMA could field a vaccination team that would consist of five doctors, 20 nurses, and two medical technologists.
The Philippine government, through a coordinated network of stakeholders, recently held a full-scale simulation exercise of vaccine deployment to showcase the country’s readiness for the mass inoculation program.
The simulation provided a preview of what is expected to happen once the vaccines arrive in the country.
In the freeport, the simulation of Covid-19 vaccine administration was done last Feb. 18 and observed by DOH officials.
The SBMA Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD) demonstrated the five steps in the administration of the vaccine: registration; pre-vaccination counseling and final consent; screening; vaccination; and post-vaccination monitoring, surveillance, and recording.
The SBMA has been at the forefront in the battle against Covid-19 since the pandemic broke out in early 2020.
Aside from its medical team, it has established Covid-19 isolation and monitoring facilities and partnered with the Philippine Red Cross in putting up a swabbing center and specimen collection facility.
As of Tuesday, only one active Covid-19 case remains in the Subic Bay Freeport, a transient worker who tested positive last Feb. 10.
Eisma said the last reported case among residents of Subic Freeport was on Dec. 24 last year while that among SBMA employees was last Feb. 5. (PNA)