Thursday, March 4, 2021

Manila begins COVID-19 vaccine simulation operations

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Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso last week led the initial simulation of the city’s COVID-19 vaccination operations in anticipation of the national government’s approval of a vaccine.

The simulation was held at the Palma Hall of the Universidad de Manila (UdM) where the Manila Health Department deployed its medical personnel and barangay healthcare workers at booths and desks to demonstrate the vaccination process.

“This is part of our road-map to vaccination. In the coming months, vaccines will arrive in the country. In the coming weeks, vaccines available in the world may be approved by the regulatory agencies of our country,” Domagoso said during the simulation.

Manila City Health Officer Dr. Arnold ‘Poks’ Pangan laid out the following steps for the process.

If the patient is pre-registered:

1. Checking of Vital Signs

2. Screening and Verification

3. Vaccination Proper

4. Holding Area for Observation

If the patient will undergo walk-in registration:

1. Checking of Vital Signs

2. Walk-In Registration

3. Screening and Verification

4. Vaccination Proper

5. Holding Area for Observation

Dr. Pangan said the simulation showed that the process for pre-registered patients would be six minutes long, while the process for walk-in registrants would take about more or less 11 minutes.

In a press briefing, Domagoso bared that the activity at UdM would only be the first of many simulations for the Manila local government to prepare for the deployment of approved vaccines.

The Mayor also said the simulation would also serve as a “stress-test” for the local government’s technological tools and medical personnel to determine how they can make the vaccine process more efficient on both pre-registered and non-registered patients.

“While we are waiting for the vaccines in the City of Manila, gusto namin malaman ni Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan paano siya ide-deploy [Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and I would like to know how the vaccines can be deployed] in a small group. Ang susunod naman dito [We will follow this up with], another deployment in a larger scale,” the Mayor said.

Ang gusto namin ma-achieve, kung ano ang mga posibleng scenario na pwedeng makapagpabagal o [We want to find out the possible scenarios that can slow-down the process, and the] possible mishandling ng products. Inaaral natin ang [We are studying] possible future problems,” he added.

The simulation was conducted after the Manila City government received nine COVID-19 refrigeration units it purchased from Germany. Three more will arrive in the coming days.

The units arrived at the Sta. Ana Hospital, where the Manila COVID-19 Vaccine Storage Facility will be built. The hospital received five Haier HYC-390 refrigeration units which can store vaccine doses from AstraZeneca and Sinovac. It also received four other biomedical freezers which can store Johnson&Johnson and Moderna vaccine vials.

Meanwhile, -86 degrees celsius ULT Freezers from Haier which can store Pfizer vaccine vials are set to arrive in the coming days. The units are equipped with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to ensure the integrity of the vaccines.

Some 50 transport coolers are also on the way for the immediate deployment of the city government’s vaccination operations.

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