Filipino-designed 'Vaccine Queue Calculator' finds your place in line for shots
UP-PGH director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi gets inoculated with Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. He is the first PGH healthcare worker to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Filipino-designed 'Vaccine Queue Calculator' finds your place in line for shots

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - March 5, 2021 - 4:29pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines began legally distributing COVID-19 vaccines this week but a question remains unanswered for millions of Filipinos, including civil engineer Ken Alambra from UP Los Baños: “Pang-ilan ba ‘ko sa pila?”

Ken ended up answering his own question with a tool that calculates how far in the queue he is.

The engineer teamed up with his researcher friend Reina Sagnip from DLSU Manila to create the "Philippine Vaccine Queue Calculator" for the Poland-based Omni Calculator Project.

What it does

The calculator finds out the minimum and maximum number of people in front of you in line, as well as the range of dates you might have to wait until you get your coronavirus shot.

Based on the national priority list released by the government, the tool calculates your spot in line by factoring in your age, profession, health condition and risk factors.

Vaccine Queue Calculator for the Philippines

How it works

Ken told Philstar.com in an online interview that the tool works by stitching together available data and the vaccination procedure of the Philippines.

“By knowing that the government targets to vaccinate 50 to 70% of the adult population within the year, we can find our needed vaccination rate,” he said. 

“Then, by utilizing the available data about the number of people for each priority group, we can find the dates that a person will get vaccinated (for the first and second dose) depending on the priority group this person belongs to. The resulting dates also depend on the confidence level or uptake rate of the Filipinos towards the COVID-19 vaccines.”

What it can’t do

Nevertheless, since we just currently started with the vaccine rollout, the calculator can only compute dates based on the projected target by the government. Moreover, it only gives estimates as the population for each priority group.

“As we can see in the media, we are not very strict with the priority list just yet,” Ken said.

The team is currently on the lookout for any updates that they might find useful for the calculator. Each update they make will be recorded on the Change Log at the end part of the calculator’s text.

How it began

Ken said that his team had already been finding ways to help people make decisions regarding the pandemic since it started.

They came up with other timely COVID-related calculators like the Stimulus Check Calculator, Vaccine Production Calculator and Coronavirus Mask Calculator, among many others.

Then they started working on the Philippine Vaccine Queue Calculator in January, improving it with data the government releases, as they release it.

“During the process, we had difficulty finding the figures regarding the priority groups, vaccination rate, and the start of rollout. But as the country progresses with the procurement of vaccines, and the announcement of the vaccination plan, we started to see hope in the calculator,” Ken said.

Why now

The calculator seeks to benefit the entire adult Filipino population by helping them make decisions on future activities.

According to Ken, it can answer questions like "What if the government managed to vaccinate at 300,000 doses per day?" or "How long would it take the Philippine government to vaccinate the adult population if everyone (100% uptake rate) is willing to get vaccinated?"

“I believe the tool’s results can help Filipinos see if the national vaccination plan is being followed,” the engineer said.

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