Vaccine C.O.D.E. team visits Valenzuela
The COVID-19 Vaccine Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (C.O.D.E.) Team has given a go-ahead for the implementation of Valenzuela City’s VCVax COVID-19 Vaccines Rollout Plan this February 03, taking a step further to reach out to every Valenzuelano to be part of the solution to beat the pandemic.
As its 8th COVID-19 Vaccine C.O.D.E. Team visit among metro cities by the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, Valenzuela City was also commended for its continuous, consistent, and smart governance for its COVID-19 response.
Bridging localized targeted mass testing to contact tracing and now, COVID-19 vaccine deployment, Valenzuela City readies its VCVax brand to bundle a timed, definite, and well-planned solution to COVID-19 – starting from how the usual day-to-day activities go in the City under the leadership of a decisive and committed local chief executive.
Upon the approval of Executive Order No. 2021-018 by Mayor REX Gatchalian last January 07 institutionalizing the VCVax Vaccination Team, Valenzuela City has been actively coordinating with the national government for the smooth implementation of its local COVID-19 vaccination microplan.
Just two (2) weeks after, Valenzuelanos saw the first vaccine rollout simulation from the City Government of Valenzuela, part of its early preparation and an overview to the know-hows of what might be the “biggest and the most challenging mass immunization” in the country while still under the pandemic.
Under the microplan, PhP 150 million was allotted by the local government for the acquisition of the COVID-19 vaccines, initially AstraZeneca, forecasting 320,000 Valenzuelanos 18 years old and above to receive the said vaccine from July to December 2021 at the 17 vaccination centers in Valenzuela.
Valenzuela also tapped into a local storage company in Barangay Lawang Bato, Estrella Ice Plant and Cold Storage, for its COVID-19 vaccine transport and storage. The company has been into the food and pharmaceutical storage business for over 70 years and has the capacity to store pharmaceutical products for up to - 22 degrees Celcius.
With a target of 3,080 individuals vaccinated per day, Valenzuela City expects to finish the initial vaccination to the targeted population in around 116 days. Priority eligible groups for the vaccine are frontline workers, indigent senior citizens, remaining senior citizens, remaining indigent population, and uniformed personnel.
The actual vaccination is just one part of the microplan, but the pre-vaccination phase is another part of the story which requires the call for Valenzuelanos to pre-register at www.valtrace.appcase.net under “Vaccination Registration” to update their profiles and set their preferred vaccination center.
Existing, functional QR codes
ValTrace QR codes, Valenzuela City’s existing QR code system for contact tracing, is now being utilized to pre-register Valenzuelanos for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We were the first LGU to develop our own local QR code… Number one export product namin ito dahil yung nag-develop, taga-Valenzuela. Then we introduced him to other LGUs so we have the same platform… Nag-iinterconnect kami with Pasig [and] with other cities kasi we have the same software [developer] who is actually from Valenzuela and ran the program here,” Mayor REX Gatchalian proudly shared.
The same platform and the same registered QR codes will be used for the registration and validation process. Once QR codes are scanned at the vaccination centers, the vaccination team can easily retrieve the patient’s information with its existing database.
“I think [the] edge of the city is it has been implementing its QR code for some time already… [It] is already functioning and existing and it will be really helpful in the COVID-19 vaccination plan…Tested and running na po siya,” DOH Director Aleli Annie Grace Sudiacal said.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III also affirms that a QR code system shall serve as a strong foundation to the enlisting of patients for the COVID-19 vaccine saying “Data management is equally important, so kailangan naka-QR code na yung ating mga mamamayan para ma-enlist na natin sa ating QR Code system or registry.”
Since the call to pre-register to the platform last January 25, the number of COVID-19 vaccine registration in Valenzuela is now at around 12,000. With still a long way to go, Mayor REX is still hopeful that the ongoing information and communications campaign will create a positive response to the COVID-19 vaccine
Like any other new projects and plans concerning the public health sector, Valenzuela City is also welcomed with challenges and comes up with ways to rise above these with the prime goal of educating its local citizenry.
Anti-vaxxers, the effects of the Dengvaxia issue, fake news, and people who have reservations and selective brand choice toward the COVID-19 vaccine are just some of the challenges detailed by the DOH in “raising vaccine confidence” and “reducing vaccine hesitancy.”
Traditional and digital channels will be actively mobilized by Valenzuela City to create an influence not only from its local officials, but also from Valenzuelanos themselves.
Also in its VCVax COVID-19 Vaccines Rollout Plan is the effective and efficient communications plan that is timed to deploy social media campaigns, info toolkits, barangay information campaign, and other information channels that can be tapped on by the City in the entire phase of the vaccination process.
Online videos and infographics, posters, flyers, tabletop talkers, community and electronic billboards will be updated with the COVID-19 vaccine information to continuously educate the public of the safety of the vaccine.
The #BakunadongValenzuelano movement will be coupled with a merchandise or freebie kit to Valenzuelanos who will get vaccinated, boosting the confidence of Valenzuelanos to be influencers as well.
“We need to win back the confidence of our people in the effectiveness and safety of our vaccines and this is a role that each one of us has an important role to play. We need to be the influencers – lahat po ng namamayaning lingkod bayan sa panahon ng pandemya,” DOH Sec. Duque said.
“We know that more than anything, itong laro na ito is a logistics game, a communications game, it’s a marketing game. Trying to sell the idea of getting vaccinated. The ‘no’ naman is ‘no with reservations’, hindi naman hard ‘no’ eh… We are going to invest heavily on information and communication,” Mayor REX shared.
NTF Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon meanwhile commended the City Government of Valenzuela in its effective and speedy response throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and commits the support of the national government in providing the help Valenzuela City needs.
“Napakita na po [ng Valenzuela] na kapag epektibo ang leadership, decisive, mabilis… Tingin ko po with the help of the national government providing primarily the supply of the vaccines, with the help of the DOH in providing the guidance and [with] the support and leadership of the LGUs eh kakayanin po natin ito,” Sec. Dizon said.
“We congratulate also the City for its surveillance system. Everything is there… Actually it can be a model for the other cities,” DOH Dir. Sudiacal added.
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