DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Davao City Council is preparing for the implementation of the COVID-19 immunization program in Davao City following the commitment of AstraZeneca to provide vaccines for the city later this year. The national government has also announced its immunization program for this year.
During the council’s session last Tuesday, Councilor Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the council’s committee on health proposed an ordinance to formalize the city’s implementation of the vaccine program.
“(W)e need to be ready is because it will be in phases so we need to list down how many vaccines we need to buy and it needs budget allocation. Like how do we store these vaccines because we need to be ready with our facilities” she said during the session.
The City Government has affirmed a commitment from AstraZeneca that will provide COVID-19 vaccines by the third quarter of this year.
Passed on first reading last Tuesday, the ordinance is set to be tackled back on a committee level to present the proposed provisions and discuss additional concerns with health officials, civil society groups, and organizations before it will be presented to the 19th city council for second reading.
Villafuerte said her committee has set public hearings on January 11 and 14 which will also be broadcast online to field questions from the public about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.
Based on the draft proposal provided by the office of Councilor Villafuerte, the ordinance shall adopt a comprehensive immunization program for COVID-19 which shall cover all resident of Davao City.
The vaccine prioritization under Section 8 will also be in phases which “will take into consideration” the population groups, geographical location, and logistics.
Section 13 of the ordinance stipulated that persons who do not intend to avail of the vaccination shall not be penalized or charged.
The ordinance also set a contingency in case the vaccine supply becomes limited or other issues arise on the vaccines. Priority for this contingency will be for health care frontliners in the first phase, the elderly and essential workers will be included in the second phase and children will be added on the next phase.
Other population groups not included in the vaccine prioritization shall be accommodated as circumstances permit.
Several cities including Davao have allocated budget to procure vaccinations. The Davao City government is now reaching to four pharmaceutical companies to provide vaccines to the city which has around 1.6 million residents. (davaotoday.com)Aztrazenica, coronavirus, covid-19, davao city, davao city council, Health Crisis, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, pandemic, Vaccination program, Vaccine