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USAID provides additional $3.5 million for Philippines vaccine rollout
“Today, I am pleased to announce that USAID will provide an additional $3.5M to further support the Philippines in delivering vaccines received from COVAX. This brings our total COVID-19 support in the health sector starting from last year to $25 million or approximately P1.25 billion,” acting USAID administrator Gloria Steele said.
AFP/Alain Jocard

USAID provides additional $3.5 million for Philippines vaccine rollout

Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - April 16, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will give the Philippines an additional $3.5 million to support the rollout of vaccines obtained from the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Initiative (COVAX) facility.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that USAID will provide an additional $3.5M to further support the Philippines in delivering vaccines received from COVAX. This brings our total COVID-19 support in the health sector starting from last year to $25 million or approximately P1.25 billion,” acting USAID administrator Gloria Steele said.

The fund will be used to strengthen supply chains; plan, track and deliver vaccines; and help government disseminate essential public health messaging about the vaccines.

USAID said it will also be collaborating with the private sector to create a better environment for business.

VAS pilot test

To help LGUs manage the data processing of their vaccination efforts, the Department of Information and Communications Technology partnered with San Juan City to pilot test the DICT Vaccine Administration System or D-VAS.

“Our goal is to speed up the system. We need to be a step or several steps ahead of the virus. Your DICT provides technical support. If we can do it here in the pilot launching in San Juan, we can do it nationwide,” ICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said.

The DICT also gave digitalization tools and Wi-Fi connection to Bakuna Centers in San Juan, as well as personnel training to address technical issues and downtime. As a result, average vaccination time per person was cut from 20 minutes to just 10.

Not required

Medical clearance is not required for those getting vaccination against COVID, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

“Medical clearance is not required, except for immune-compromised individuals such as those with autoimmune disease, HIV, cancer patients currently undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, transplant patients, those undergoing steroid treatment, and patients who are bedridden or with a poor prognosis,” the DOH clarified.

DOH noted that only individuals experiencing a blood pressure of 180/120 or higher with signs and symptoms of organ damage during the screening process cannot be vaccinated.

UP vaccination site

The University of the Philippines-Diliman will convert its College of Human Kinetics gym into a vaccination site for constituents and residents.

On Thursday, the Quezon City Health Department inspected the gym that will be activated as a vaccination site by month’s end.

According to UP, vaccination is expected to run for three months and would need about 300 to 500 volunteers to operate.

The Quezon City government meanwhile closed the online booking for vaccine schedules, as it is already fully booked until Saturday.

“If your registration with EZConsult is already approved, we advise you to check if a slot will open until Saturday. Do not book a schedule ahead of that date. We only have a limited supply of vaccines and we are waiting for the arrival of additional doses from DOH,” it said in an advisory.

Appeal

The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) appealed to the national government to prioritize for vaccination other areas in the country with rising COVID-19 cases.

ULAP president and Quirino Gov. Dakila Carlo Cua said government must also look into the situation of Abra and Ilocos Sur, and Santiago City in Isabela where there is a surge in infections.

For her part, Sen. Leila de Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 700 calling for a probe on the government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program to identify bottlenecks in the vaccine procurement process for the private sector. – Pia Lee-Brago, Rainier Allan Ronda, Mayen Jaymalin, Janvic Mateo, Emmanuel Tupas, Cecille Suerte Felipe

COVID-19 VACCINE
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