Naga’s pool of inoculators and the limited supply of vaccines

By Jason B. Neola


Notwithstanding the inadequate supply of vaccines coming in Naga City, the city government keeps a pool of inoculators ready to serve anytime a vaccination is going to be conducted.


The city’s database of more than 100 doctors, medical interns, nurses, nursing graduates, and midwives was prompted by the need to expedite the drive that aims to immunize at least 147,000 residents equivalent to 70 percent of the city’s 209,000 population.


Authorities from the Department of Health (DOH) said that at least 70 percent of the population needs to be immunized to keep the rate of infection down by way of achieving herd protection or immunity without restrictions on activities.


The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has a separate group of vaccinators – numbering about 200 – who volunteered during the conduct of NagaVax Express. Raffy Magno, head of Area and Constituency Concerns Division of the OVP, said the volunteers are ready to serve anytime when similar activities are going to be held in the city.

SELFIE. A NagaVax Express volunteer readies her cellphone for a selfie shot with Mayor Nelson Legacion and Vice President Leni Robredo at the first day of the mass vaccination conducted at the Holy Rosary Major Seminary on July 23. -VIC VILLAFLOR/CEPPIO


But, like other local government units (LGUs), the city government is in quandary as to how and where it will source the needed supply of vaccines that will be used in the inoculation of the 70 percent of its residents.


Such situation arises after the Naga LGU finds itself still waiting for the green light from the DOH and the Inter Agency Task Force Against Covid-19 to purchase its own vaccine requirement, some 50,240 doses, after it completed all the paperwork in the procurement process since June 17 this year.


It appeared that the multiparty agreement (MPA), one of the prerequisite in the purchase of vaccines, has not yet been signed by the country’s vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.


In an exclusive interview with Bicol Mail, Vice President Leni Robredo on July 23 commented that it would be better for the national government to expedite the sending of vaccines to LGUs so that they can be able to strategize well the conduct of their own mass vaccinations.


“With the pronouncement of the national government about the continuous arrival of more vaccines in the country, I suggest that prompt distribution of such to LGUs in the provinces be expeditiously undertaken,” Robredo said.


Mayor Nelson Legacion said that the 50,240 doses, if Galvez will allow its procurement, can easily be used up thru a 20-day mass inoculation considering the availability of vaccinators from the city government and the Office of the Vice President (OVP).


Robredo was in the city for the conduct of the 2-day NagaVax Express that inoculated 6,214 residents.


The OVP deployed more than 130 volunteers to during the NagaVax Express on July 23-24.

THE NagaVax Express at the University of Nueva Caceres.

...at Holy Rosary Major Seminary. Photo by Melvin DC Aureus