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Iloilo City in the loop of vaccine priorities

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (center) leads the ceremonial turnover of medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) sets to the Iloilo City Government through Mayor Jerry P. Treñas (second from right) held at the Freedom Grandstand on Thursday (July 1, 2021). They were joined by (left to right) DOH Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) regional director Adriano P. Subaan, Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Julienne Baronda and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega. (Photo courtesy of Arnold Almacen/City Mayor’s Office)

ILOILO CITY – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said Iloilo City is being prioritized for the distribution of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines due to its recent surge of infections.

Roque said the allocation of vaccines is dependent on the incidence of Covid-19 in an area.

“Kaya nga po nagkaroon tayo ng tinatawag na NCR Plus 8, Plus 10. At kasama na po sa area na mabigyan ng prayoridad ang Iloilo City. That is why medyo malaki na po yung na-deliver natin ngayon na 50,000 na Sinovac (That is why we have NCR Plus 8, Plus 10. And Iloilo City has been included in the areas that will be given priority. We have delivered a somehow huge volume of 50,000 Sinovac),” he said during his press briefing streamed live from the Iloilo City Hall.

NCR Plus 8 is composed of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Batangas, Rizal, Bulacan, Metro Davao, Metro Cebu while NCR Plus 10 included additional 10 cities that will also be prioritized in the vaccine allocation.

Roque arrived in this city bringing with him 27 mechanical ventilators, 31 Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP), five High Flow Nasal Cannulas, and 12,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) gears for the local government.

The additional equipment and the 50,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines that arrived on June 30 were among the interventions provided by the national government in response to the appeal of the local government here for assistance amid increasing Covid-19 infections.

“We are distributing vaccines to all on the basis of population. But of course, we are giving more to areas with local surges,” he said.

The two-week average attack rate and the health care utilization rate of an area in determining the allocation are also factors being considered, he added.

Roque asked his fellow Ilonggos to be patient as he admitted that the supply of vaccines arrived gradually thus they have to prioritize the vulnerable sector.

But as more supplies are coming in, vaccination is now being opened to economic front-liners, he added.

Roque also noted that since Iloilo City has a cold storage capacity, then it can also receive sub-zero vaccines such as Moderna and Pfizer.

The Moderna vaccines only arrived the other day (June 27, 2021), he said, but in time these will also be allocated to urban centers with cold storage capacity.

“Not only Moderna. May 40 million na Pfizer and Pfizer will make it also to Iloilo City,” he added.

Roque during the visit was joined by the Department of Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, Assistant Secretary Romeo Ong, and director for Logistics Ariel Valencia.

Vega will be staying overnight in the city to talk with health institutions on how to respond to cases in the metropolis.

He said that while Iloilo is in the moderate risk category, yet its health care utilization rate, especially the intensive care unit (ICU) is still in a critical condition.

“We are here together with the secretary and my DOH family to talk to different medical directors and hospital institutions, both public and private, on how we can adjust to the crisis or to the surge that we have here in Iloilo. That means that we have to come up with better strategies on making sure that the critical and severe cases from Iloilo and from the nearby provinces can access the critical care,” Vega added.

Mayor Jerry P. Treñas is grateful to the national officials as the city government needs all the support it can get to improve the health care capacity.

DOH Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) regional director Adriano P. Subaan and Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Julienne Baronda also witnessed the turnover of medical equipment and the PPE gears.

As of June 30, Iloilo City has 2,306 active cases as per the regional bulletin of the DOH WV CHD. It also has 8, 309 recoveries and 287 deaths. (PNA)

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Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph

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