COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa holds COVID-19 vaccination simulation, eyes schools as vaccination centers

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi formally led the City Government’s first coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination simulation at Muntinlupa National High School – Main yesterday.

Fresnedi said the simulation exercise aims to prepare local vaccination teams on the proper handling and vaccine administration in anticipation of the national government’s approval of a vaccine for use and distribution and arrival of supply.

Muntinlupa City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao added that the exercise will help the local government to further improve its vaccination site management. Muntinlupa CHO eyes to convert the city’s 28 public schools as vaccination centers. Vaccination facilities are designed to have areas for registration, counselling and consent, screening, vaccination proper, and post-vaccination monitoring.

Tuliao noted that the local government targets to inoculate 5,600 persons per day through its 56 vaccination teams under the best-case scenario of supply availability.

The operational logistics of the vaccination program are also being readied to ensure that vaccines will be handled and disposed correctly and properly, including reverse logistics. The local government will be purchasing 48 refrigerators and 2 freezers as storage equipment for the vaccines.

CHO is also coordinating with local storage rental facilities in the city for the cold chain management of vaccines needing special storage requirements. The City of Muntinlupa has secured 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines to inoculate residents in high priority groups.

The City Government earmarked a 170 million pesos initial budget for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines once they are available and approved for use in the country. National Immunization Program Coordinator for COVID-19 in Muntinlupa Dra. Maria Rochelle Abat said the local vaccination teams were already trained for vaccine administration as part of the local immunization program.

The training of Muntinlupa’s medical personnel was facilitated by UNICEF, World Health Organization, and Department of Health last January 12-13. Participants were trained for vaccine administration, managing the side effects of the vaccine, vaccine storage and handling practices, health communication, and waste management. Other health workers from Ospital ng Muntinlupa, including frontliners from local private hospitals and clinics, are also continuously being trained.

The City Government has also created the Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccination that will oversee the registration for the vaccination program, conduct information campaigns, and ensure that vaccines are in good condition.

As part of its vaccination plan, the city’s Public Information Office and Health Education and Promotion Officers of the City Health Office (CHO) are conducting promotion activities to public and private health facilities to generate demand and uptake for COVID-19 vaccine among eligible population.

The City Government also hopes to address the vaccine hesitancy and mistrust feelings and deportment, and encourage the public to continue COVID-19 preventive actions through its information campaign. Muntinlupa has been conducting a survey among residents to know if they are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, their vaccine brand preference, and reasons for their refusal.

Out of 3,589 respondents as of January 28, 2,183 city residents were willing to be vaccinated while 680 said “no” to the vaccination and 726 were classified as unaccounted.

Further, the local government partnered with the Department of Health and launched the Staysafe.PH app as the official digital contact tracing system in the city.

The adoption of StaySafe.PH in Muntinlupa is in compliance with the national government’s recommendation for a uniformed contact tracing system to prevent further COVID-19 transmission, especially with the detection of the B.1.1.7. SARS-CoV-2 variant (UK variant) in the country.

All residents and visitors who will enter, work, or do business in all indoor or enclosed public and private establishments in Muntinlupa shall be required to download and register at the StaySafe.PH application and secure a unique QR Code which they can store on their phone or print for physical copy.

As of January 28, Muntinlupa City has 64 active cases, 5,326 confirmed cases with 5,094 recoveries, 168 reported deaths, 71 suspect cases, and 389 probable cases.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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