Subic Freeport ready for Covid-19 vaccine rollout

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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Health facilities and personnel in the Subic Bay Freeport are now ready for the release and distribution here of Covid-19 vaccines under the government’s mass vaccination program.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma gave this assurance to Department of Health (DOH) officials who observed the simulation of Covid-19 vaccine administration in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Eisma said that ever since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, the SBMA has initiated various health measures to fight Covid-19.

“We don’t want to get caught empty-handed,” Eisma stressed. “With the anticipated arrival of Covid-19 vaccines, the medical team of the SBMA is all prepped up and ready for the vaccination program. We shall be prepared when it happens,” Eisma said.

The SBMA chief said the agency is closely coordinating with the DOH for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines and their immediate deployment for the Freeport community.

“But since the SBMA is not a local government unit (LGU), we are looking at various ways to gain access to vaccines, including a partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, or even private companies,” Eisma said.

She added that the agency would be prioritizing frontline health workers for the vaccination, along with senior citizens, indigent population, and law enforcement/uniformed personnel.

Should the vaccines finally arrive, Eisma said the SBMA could field a vaccination team that would consist of five doctors, 20 nurses, and two medical technologists.

Dr. Jessie Fantone, DOH provincial director for Zambales and was present during the Subic simulation, commended the SBMA for adhering to the DOH strategy in the fight against Covid-19, which is Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, and Reintegrate (PDITR).

The SBMA Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD) demonstrated the five steps in vaccine administration, such as registration; pre-vaccination counselling and final consent; screening; vaccination; and post-vaccination monitoring, surveillance, and recording.

Aside from its medical team, the Subic agency has established Covid-19 isolation and monitoring facilities and partnered with the Philippine Red Cross in putting up a swabbing center and specimen collection facility.

As of now, only one Covid-19 case remains active in the Subic Bay Freeport, a transient worker who tested positive last Feb. 10. Eisma said the last reported case among residents of Subic Freeport was in Dec. 24 while that among SBMA employees was in Feb. 5.

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