BACOLOD CITY–The Provincial Health Office (PHO) called on all 31 local government units of Negros Occidental province to purchase bio-medical refrigerators and cold boxes to store the vaccines for coronavirus as part of the provincial government’s preparations for the national vaccination.
Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, provincial health officer, said that the biomedical refrigerators with a temperature range between positive 2 and positive 8 would be a big help in the preservation of the vaccines including vaccines other than COVID-19.
“Cold storage is very critical to vaccines and spending for such equipment is a small price to pay for the people’s welfare,” Tumimbang said. He added that a generator would also be ideal to have on standby to guarantee the integrity of the vaccines even through power interruptions.
He said the province will take care of holding the vaccines prior to delivery and of renting refrigerated vehicles to deliver the vaccines to the 31 cities and municipalities.
According to Tumimbang, the LGUs have all been informed about the logistical requirements.
He further disclosed that a simulation activity is being set with an LGU to determine how fast the province can roll out the COVID-19 vaccination program.
“To be clear, it’s not only a matter of giving the shots. There’s also pre-registration and post-vaccination when we monitor for acute reactions,” Tumimbang explained.
Earlier, Governor Eugenio Lacson said he was asking for 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the national government to inoculate 70 percent of the province’s total population, or some 1.5 million Negrenses, at two doses each.
Meanwhile, he said, the batch of 100,000 doses secured by the provincial government from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines Inc., intended for medical front-liners is expected to arrive in the third quarter of the year.
Last week, the governor assured the LGUs without sufficient funds for the vaccines that they could rely on the national government to pick up the slack.
“The provincial government will prioritize its health workers, and the national government will take care of the vaccination for the remaining Negrenses,” he said./(Eugene Y. Adiong/iNews-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)