Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. (left),  National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (2nd from left), and Pateros Municipal Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III (3rd from left) watch the simulation exercises for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-10) vaccine rollout during the Covid-19 vaccine Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team visit at the AMC Gym, Barangay San Roque, Pateros on Friday (Feb.19, 2021). The CODE Team has been visiting local government units to see their preparedness for the nationwide vaccination program in the coming days. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 20 (Mabuhay) — About 79 percent of Pateros residents want to get vaccinated with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) vaccines based on the local survey conducted by the municipal government, Mayor Miguel Ponce III said on Friday.

The local survey was participated in by 550 respondents, Ponce said, as he presented their vaccination plan for Covid-19 during the visit of the Covid-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (C.O.D.E.) Team, headed by the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), at the AMC Gymnasium.

“I really do not have the exact number kung ilang yung ayaw muna mag-decide pero I think napakaliit po nung percentage ng nag-no (I really do not have the exact number on how many of them are still undecided but I think there is just a few percent of them who said no to the vaccination),” Ponce said in an interview.

In his presentation, Ponce said the municipal government is unfazed by issues on vaccine efficacy.

“The issue as to the efficacy of vaccines is not really a big issue to us, we are not bothered with that issue. Why? Because if the vaccines are to give us protein to make ourselves develop antibodies that would fight the Covid-19 virus, we really do not mind vaccines giving us less or fix protein dahil marami po kaming protina sa katawan (because we have a lot of proteins in our bodies) courtesy of ‘balut’ which admittedly rich in protein,” Ponce said.

He reported that the municipality’s Covid-19 has gradually declined to only two active cases, as of Feb. 15 this year.

“I would happy to announce that Pateros has the lowest positivity rate of 1.6 percent only and the highest recovery rate of 96.99 percent,” he said.

Local vaccination plan

Meanwhile, Ponce said the municipality has a total of 74,193 projected population. Of it, the local government targets to inoculate around 51, 935 of its eligible population.

Ponce reported that the local government has established its Pateros Covid-19 vaccination task force to facilitate the smooth implementation of the municipal-wide immunization program.

Among the priority groups for the Pateros municipality’s coronavirus vaccine rollout are the 525 health workers from private hospitals and clinics, 290 medical workers from the municipal’s five major public health centers as well as the 289 Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs).

The other priority sectors are the 7,976 senior citizens, 32, 678 indigent population, and the municipal’s 229 uniformed personnel.

Ponce said the teams of vaccinators composed of healthcare workers have already undergone comprehensive training since mid-January this year.

The local government has identified four major vaccination sites including AMC Gym and Pateros Catholic School (within the ground floor level)–each vaccination site will be manned by two vaccination teams.

While the Agripino Manalo National High School in Barangay Aguho and Capt. Hipolito Francisco Elementary School in Barangay Sta. Ana–each will be manned by one vaccination team. The vaccination in these sites will be done from Mondays to Fridays.

It will also set up two satellite vaccination centers located at the Lexington clubhouse and East Mansion Clubhouse subdivision in Pateros Municipality, to serve residents during Saturdays and Sundays.

The local government targets to vaccinate at least 1,000 individuals daily equivalent to 5,000 residents weekly and 20,000 people per month.

“Hindi po kami nagmamadali, dahil alam po natin na unti-unti po talaga dahil ang gagawin po natin dito ika nga ay (We are not hurrying, it will be done gradually and we are targeting to do it) slowly but surely as a matter of fact our people are just starting realized that these vaccines are safe and there is really a pressing need, an urgency for them to get vaccinated that is why dahan-dahan po ang gagawin natin (we are doing it slowly),” said Ponce.

While the final dates of vaccine arrival vary, he said they are confident to complete the first shot vaccination by the first half of March.

“And we can complete the first and second doses between five and six months way ahead of the other LGUs as projected in the National Capital Region because we only have a small population),” he added. “Palagay ko na naman ay manageable naman yung number natin dito sa Pateros (Our number here in Pateros is more likely manageable).

In preparation for the Covid-19 vaccines deployment, Ponce said they have already prepared their own cold-chain storage facility located at the Pateros Technological College. The local government has converted the school’s faculty room into a cold storage room to house its 8 refrigerators and 12 vaccine carriers.

On Friday, the CODE team headed by NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. also inspected the simulation of Pateros’ vaccination rollout.

Galvez commended the local government for its efforts to combat the prevailing health crisis and planning an “impressive” Covid-19 vaccination program.

Ponce said the Pateros Municipality is also ramping up efforts for its vaccination campaign as he urged more residents to sign up for the Pateros’ Covid-19 vaccine registration. (MNS)