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Covid-19 vaccination plan presented to PBs and SKs

19 February 2021 – The city’s District Punong Barangays (PB) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) representatives underwent an orientation on the Covid-19 Vaccination Plan last Wednesday, Feb. 17 at the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, City Engineers Office.

The orientation was conducted by City Health Services Officers Dr. Rowena Galpo and Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer Consolacion Rivera; physician-internists and allergologists Drs. Therese Tolentino, Chona Burgonio and Karol Anne Flor.

According to Dr. Galpo, preparations involving the PBs and SK are underway as the vaccines’ arrival is expected this first quarter of 2021. Information from the forum is expected to be cascaded to other Punong Barangays in the city’s twenty districts.

PBs and the SK sector shall coordinate as to vaccinees’ registration; transport; response, safety and crowd control; and information and education campaign, Galpo informed the group. Implementors in the pre-vaccination, vaccination and post vaccination activities are Kagawads on committee on health, Barangay Health Workers and Nutrition Scholars, Tanods, Women groups and volunteers.  

Pre-implementation activities are microplanning, profiling and data management, transport of vaccinees and logistics, health education and counselling, and preparation of other materials. Information campaign, advocacy, community engagement activities, closer coordination with the District Health Center for designation and preparation of units and vaccination posts.

During vaccination activities, deployment instructions for SK encoders shall be done, as with standby ambulance or emergency transport designated. Responsible committee assigns human resource for safety and crowd control during the 7-day vaccination schedule.

Post implementation activities include meetings and evaluation with the District Health Center, Dr. Galpo informed the barangay officials.    

Also during the forum, Internist-allergologists Drs. Tolentino, Burgonio and Flor explained that collaborative statements from physicians were made purposely to allay fears as to vaccinees’ response, allergic reactions and adverse effects of Covid-19 vaccines. It was explained that allergic reactions or common side effects may occur as with those for childhood vaccines. There may also be local and systemic mild or moderate reactions which may be felt for one up to three days, and could be managed without being admitted in the hospital. Headache, muscle, body aches and tiredness may be felt, or fever, chills or vomiting may be experienced by the vaccinee which could be relieved by paracetamol, proper hydration or cold compress, the doctors said.       

Rashes, itchy skin, runny nose, hives and other allergic reactions, on the other hand may be safe managed through antihistamines, but should not be taken in anticipation of any reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine, the doctors said.

Severe reactions to the vaccine such as vomiting, abdominal cramps, dizziness, hypotension and arrythmia shall be properly managed as Covid-19 vaccinees shall be observed in the field site centers for 30 minutes, the doctors further assured. 

Persons with allergies to certain food or food products, dust mites or insect venom may still receive the vaccine, but persons with comorbidities and those undergoing medical treatment such as cancer or dialysis patients would need a boost in their immunity before being vaccinated. Those with history of allergic reactions to any component/stabilizer of the Covid-19 vaccine may not receive said vaccine.           

For the elderly, procedures for vaccination day were given. An earlier pre-registration and assessment shall be done at the nearest/preferred district health center (DHC) with the elderly’s company or valid government ID. If unsuccessful, however, the elderly is given a non-qualification notice and health advice.

On vaccination day, the elderly again registers at the vaccination facility with the pre-registration profile updated, and a consent form before vaccination and issuance of a vaccination card.

After vaccination, the senior citizen-vaccinee is observed or any allergic reaction or side effects for 30 minutes to one hour, within the area. Medical and health support personnel shall be on hand for any emergencies, Dr. Galpo assured.      

A short question-and-answer session capped the forum. – Julie G. Fianza