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DILG deploys 50,000 cops, firemen to assist in COVID-19 vaccination

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DILG deploys 50,000 cops, firemen to assist in COVID-19 vaccination
A health worker shows syringes filled with Pfizer vaccine as they administer the first dose to those belonging to A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidity) categories during their continuation of vaccination program for San Juaneños at FilOil Flying V Centre (San Juan Arena) on May 12, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government bared its plan to deploy over 50,000 police and fire protection personnel to "provide support and security" to the national vaccine rollout that will now include the A4 category next month.

The fourth priority group in the vaccination program against COVID-19 is slated to include frontline workers in essential sectors, including government personnel and private sector workers required to be physically present at their designated workplaces.

In a statement, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that the presence of uniformed personnel was intended to ensure the smooth rollout of vaccines amid the government's mass vaccination efforts with some 16-million vaccines still expected to arrive in the next two months.

“Mass vaccination will be a big challenge to the government but with the help of our uniformed personnel, we aim to get as many of our countrymen and women vaccinated as efficiently and as soon as possible. This is the only way for us to put an end to this pandemic,” he said.

Año said that the uniformed personnel are directed to maintain minimum public health standards in vaccination sites and serve as vaccinators as required by the local government units and the Department of Health.

Of which, some 35,415 police personnel will provide security during the transport of vaccines nationwide while 13,840 PNP personnel will be tasked with securing various vaccination areas in the country.

To ensure the safety and health of the uniformed personnel to be deployed, the DILG said both the PNP and the BFP have continued their respective internal vaccination efforts, including: 

  • 14,082 PNP medical front-liners who have been inoculated with their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
  • 8,416 personnel who have received their second dose
  • 6,298 BFP personnel who have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
  • and 2,298 of them who have received their second dose.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fire Protection has mobilized 2,390 fire personnel and 356 emergency medical service units in 1,150 identified warehouse or cold storage and vaccination sites nationwide to go with 733 fire trucks and 59 ambulances that have been prepositioned.
 
“Our DILG uniformed personnel will not only secure the vaccines but those with medical backgrounds will also be assigned to do medical tasks in our vaccination sites all over the country,” he said.

In addition, 8,936 personnel from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology nationwide have also been inoculated with their first dose, while 3,750 of them have received their second dose.

To date, 1,216,582 coronavirus infections have been recorded in the country, 53,614 of whom are still classified as active cases. 

The Philippines is among the worst countries in the world when it comes to vaccinating people per population. 

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

Government must increase vaccination capacity across the Philippines in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the corona virus, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

She says local government units and the private sector can work together to put up more vaccination centers and deploy more vaccination teams to get more people inoculated against COVID-19.

"The active COVID cases have nearly doubled in three days. The positivity rate is almost four times the ceiling set by the World Health Organization. Huwag na nating hintayin na sobrang lumala pa ang sitwasyon bago tayo gumawa ng paraan para mapabilis ang ating pagbabakuna."

December 23, 2021 - 11:44am

FDA chief Eric Domingo says that its agency has given emergency approval for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

November 11, 2021 - 7:30am

The United States immunized around 900,000 children aged five-to-11 against Covid in the first week the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for them, a White House official says Wednesday.

Roughly 700,000 more have made appointments at pharmacies, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients tells reporters.

"The program is just getting up to full strength," he says, adding most of the shots were given in the last couple of days alone. — AFP

November 8, 2021 - 7:56pm

The Philippines has received 2.8 million doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines from Russia.

The shipment arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Monday night and was met by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

November 7, 2021 - 11:57am

A Department of the Interior and Local Government proposal to require Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries to get vaccinated before cash transfers to them can be released will not help the poor, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

"Walang kundisyon sa 4Ps law na kailangang COVID-19 vaccinated ang recipients kaya dapat igalang at irespeto ng ating mga opisyal ang desisyon ng sinuman ukol sa pagbabakuna," she says. 

(The 4Ps Law does not include the condition that recipients must be vaccinated against COVID-19 so the government must respect people's decision to get vaccinated or not)

She says it would be better for government agencues like the social welfare and health departments to encourage 4Ps beneficiaries to get vaccinated but not as a condition to receive cash aid.

Hontiveros says encouragement and explanations have helped address vaccine hesitancy in Metro Manila.

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