Provincial Health Officer Edward Tandingan said the provincial local government unit will come out with an executive order creating a COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force whose functions include advocacy in the implementation of the government’s action plan and vaccine roll out.
There will also be a sub-committee on risk communication, community education and social mobilization. “We also have to be prepared and in a position to positively respond to misinformation from so many fronts”, he said adding that part of the preparation is for people to understand the process of vaccination.
Health workers in the province have already undergone online training for the vaccine roll out, he said.
Tandingan in the Feb. 10 virtual meeting of the Provincial COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (PIATF) reminded the city and municipal health offices on the submission of their micro-plans on vaccination procedures to include the organization of their Vaccination Task Force and master listing of priorities for vaccination.
‘At the provincial level, our role is to provide technical assistance to the City and Municipal LGUs over their actual implementation and operation of their plans to include provision of some equipment based on inventory,’ he said.
Tandingan said their target is to achieve threshold coverage following the national government’s identified priority groups for vaccination. At least 70% of the population should be inoculated to reach herd immunity against COVID-19. For a widespread vaccination coverage, he said they will be asking the LGUs for resources to buy additional vaccines to fill the supply gap.
Meanwhile, Tandingan reiterated the importance of following the minimum public health standards as COVID cases continue to surge in the province. As of the Feb. 10 data of DOH-CAR, Kalinga has 243 active cases, the highest in the region.
Dr. Bernadette Andaya of the Provincial DOH Office reported that the DOH CAR is coordinating teams to conduct aggressive contact testing in Tabuk City and in identified municipalities from February 17 to 20. (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga)
By Peter A. Balocnit