COTABATO CITY – Healthcare personnel are the first to receive doses of Covid-19 vaccines once the vaccination rollout starts in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region by end of March or first week of April this year.
This was according to Deputy Health Minister Dr. Zul Qarneyn Abas who presented BARMM’s deployment and vaccination plan to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament on Thursday, Feb. 18.
In the plan, Abas said there are three (3) priority eligible groups for the vaccine’s distribution and deployment.
Group A include all frontline health workers from public and private health facilities such as hospitals or temporary treatment and monitoring facilities; health workers from Rural Health Units, City and Municipal Health Offices, Centers for Health Development, and Ministry of Health; barangay health workers including the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs); and frontline workers from the ministries of social services, education, and local government.
Also included in the first group are frontline workers from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Corrections, as well as indigent senior citizens, remaining senior citizens, remaining indigent population, and uniformed personnel from the police, army, coast guard, and fire service.
Meanwhile, group B consists of teachers, social workers, other BARMM government workers, other essential workers outside health, education, social welfare sectors (e.g. agriculture, food, industry, transportation, tourism, manufacturing, construction, among others), socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk (PWDs, Bangsamoro living in high-density areas), overseas Filipino workers, and other remaining workforce.
All remaining Bangsamoro population not included above shall be in the last group.
Abas said the priority groups were based on the framework of the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) and that the primary goal is the direct reduction of morbidity and mortality, and the maintenance of most critical essential services.
The deputy minister also announced that the BARMM will be receiving the AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Sinovac vaccines from the national government.
“We specifically didn’t request for the Pfizer because it will require -70°C cold storage facility and at the moment we don’t have a warehouse storage with that capacity,” Abas said, adding that MOH can only provide 2°C to 8°C storage required for the three mentioned vaccines.
He also said the MOH is in the process of procuring vaccines, with the P500-million initial allotment of the Bangsamoro Government, to supplement those to be given by the central government in order to ensure that every Bangsamoro will be immunized against the virus.
The MOH has so far identified seven (7) fixed-posts across the region where vaccination will take place– this include Maguindanao Provincial Hospital, Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Lanao del Sur, Sulu Provincial Hospital, Datu Halun Sakilan Hospital in Tawi-Tawi, Lamitan District Hospital in Basilan, Bangsamoro Government Center in Cotabato City, and Police Regional Office-BARMM Regional Health Service.
The ministry is set to release campaign materials on how the public can access accurate and reliable information about the Covid-19 vaccines. (Bangsamoro Information Office)
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