Bacolod City vaccine council formed

Members of the City Action Team on Returning OFWs in their personal protective equipment. | Photo courtesy of the office of Councilor Israel Salanga

Bacolod City’s COVID Vaccination Council is slated to meet this week to map out the inoculation program for local residents.

COVAC was created by Mayor Evelio Leonardia last Dec. 24, 2020 by virtue of Executive Order No. 83.

Leonardia will serve as chair of the COVAC that also includes Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and City Administrator Em Ang as vice chair and council coordinator, respectively.

Ang said the first meeting will discuss, among others, the functions of its members.

Based on EO No. 83, the council will identify and ensure the source of funds for the purchase of the vaccines.

The body will design the roadmap for the implementation of the vaccination that will also involve other offices of the city government like the budget and procurement units, she said.

The council is in charge as well in the profiling of priority sectors for vaccination, Ang said, adding that it will also develop a system and data banking of registered beneficiaries, tracking of the distribution of doses and monitoring of any adverse effects following immunization.

The council will also look for or develop suitable cold storage facilities for the vaccine, including mobile cold storage units, to strengthen the supply chain for the vaccine, she added.

COVAC will also see to it there is available manpower to distribute and administer the vaccine, including medical and non-medical volunteers, the city official continued.

Ang disclosed that Secretary Carlito Galvez, the national government’s vaccine czar, even assured Leonardia that Bacolod frontliners are among those in the priority list of the vaccination program but pointed out that funding augmentation from the LGU is necessary to make sure that everyone in the city can avail of the vaccine.

As of Dec. 27, records of the City Health Office indicated that Bacolod has 5,588 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 5,333 recoveries, 82 active cases, and 173 deaths. – MML