BETTER JAB SERVICE. Assistant Baguio City health officer Dr. Celiaflor Brillantes (left), said the city has hired more vaccinators deployed in additional vaccination sites to improve the local government's vax rollout. Also in photo is city health officer Dr. Rowena Galpo (right). (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot

BAGUIO CITY – The city government has hired 60 more vaccinators to further improve the implementation and extend the coverage of the inoculation process.

Dr. Rowena Galpo, city health officer, on Wednesday said they have hired additional personnel to assure that there will be sufficient manpower at the four coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) mega vaccination sites and new areas opened for the same purpose.

She said vaccinators are part of the 115 additional manpower of the local government for the Covid-19 medical response. There were 34 contact tracers, six encoders, five swabbers, and 10 nurses hired by the city.

The city has also opened more vaccination sites to bring the service closer to the people. She said the crowd and lines in the four mega-sites at Saint Louis University open gymnasium, Saint Louis Center beside St. Vincent, University of Baguio gymnasium, and at the SM parking area are expected to ease with the additional district and satellite vaccination sites.

Galpo said the new sites at the Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA) will cater to residents of Atok trail and Loakan; the Divine Mercy Church for Atab, Mines View and Pacdal; and Elpidio Quirino Elementary School for Irisan which is the city's biggest barangay.

The said villages are the farthest from the mega vaccination sites. She added that some of the satellite vaccination venues have been used for specific sectors such as the Baguio City Police Office for uniformed personnel, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office for city employees, the Rillera building at the public market for market vendors.

The University of the Cordilleras High School Department will also be used for vaccinees from Barangays City Camp, the Loakan airport as a drive-through vaccination site for drivers, and the Baguio City National High School (BCNHS) for teachers. The Baguio Country Club jab site will also serve their workers, the pony boys, and small store owners in the vicinity.

Dr. Celiaflor Brillantes, assistant health officer and point person of the city's vaccination program, said that to serve and assure that bedridden individuals will not be left behind, they also formed a team for the mobile vaccination (Movacc) where vaccinators go to home-based senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

As of July 16, there were already 340 residents served by the Movacc team. She said that with more vaccination areas operating, the city government also strengthened the multi-media approaches and short messaging system (SMS) reminders to boost the information campaign as to the vaccination venue and schedules.

Both doctors said the city is not worried about the people's interest to be vaccinated but the limited supply.

Col. Glenn Lonogan, Baguio City Police Office director, in a separate interview said 72 police personnel have been deployed to assist in the government’s mass vaccination program to increase the jab coverage.

Aside from vaccinators, Lonogan said that police personnel were also deployed by the different police stations having jurisdiction over the existing vaccination centers to provide security in the area as well as manage the traffic to avoid unnecessary congestions that could cause inconvenience to the people wanting to be vaccinated.

As of July 19, the city has vaccinated 129,053 individuals with 50,097 receiving the complete dose. Information from the health services office on July 20 said the 10,900 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines bought by the city government have arrived aside from the allocation from the national government to Baguio. (PNA