Amid the absence of a clear COVID-19 vaccine rollout roadmap at the national level, local government units (LGUs) are left with the responsibility to gear up on their own. For the provincial government of Agusan del Sur, holding a two-day workshop, in partnership with the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF), strengthened its microplans for a vaccine rollout.
The microplanning workshop held last February 17 and 18 included a scenario-based activity that encouraged the participants to identify strengths and weaknesses in their respective localities’ supply chain management (SCM) governance and technical capacity.
The participants were given six possible scenarios to gauge their vaccine rollout preparedness. These are: (1) Determining the “priority in the priority” list based on the degree of threat or exposure should there be a limited supply of vaccines; (2) Contingency plans in the event of more than 24 hours of blackout, fluctuating power, or incompatible electrical capacity; (3) What to do when at least one vaccination team member tested positive; (4) Only 50 percent of the people who pre-registered showed up on vaccination day; (5) Support available in case of flooding in the area; and (6) Protocols for pharmaceutical donations.
The workshop also had a dedicated session for examining the Rural Health Units’ (RHUs) microplans. Guided by a worksheet, and through feedback from the ZFF and Department of Health (DOH) representatives, participants were able to identify existing gaps and possible governance and technical challenges and address them accordingly.
With a bottom-up approach, quantifying the vaccines was among the key concerns addressed. Identifying the critical workforce and population will help the province and the DOH to determine the right quantity of vaccines that the province can handle, store, and administer within rational use, which would include monitoring of adverse events.
Agusan del Sur developed a three-year microplan for the provincial vaccine rollout consisting of three phases: pre-vaccination, vaccination, and post-vaccination, including waste management. It aims to vaccinate 70 percent (or 506,194 individuals) of its total population with the COVID-19 vaccine by 2023 to reduce morbidity and mortality due to the virus.
According to the province’s Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS), Agusan del Sur has 723,134 constituents. The target was set considering the eligible population who are aged 17 years and above.
With the strengthened microplans through the workshop, the Provincial Health Office (PHO), the DOH, and especially the constituents of Agusan del Sur will hopefully see through this goal together.