To protect the public transport sector against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) are eyeing the opening of vaccination sites in public terminals and pharmacies here.
Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino on Thursday said his office has formed a team comprising the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF)-Visayas, Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH-7) and DOTr to ramp up the inoculation of drivers, passengers, and their dependents.
“The Project Balik Buhay, the private sector group helping us in the pandemic responses, is also helping us in establishing vaccination sites in terminals,” he said in an interview.
Dino’s office came out with the idea of opening inoculation desks at terminals through the regional directors of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) after the DOH central office opened pop-up vaccination desks in pharmacies in the National Capital Region.
LTFRB-7 head Eduardo Montealto Jr. and LTO-7 chief Victor Emmanuel Caindec attended the coordination meeting on Wednesday with DOH-7 chief pathologist Dr. Mary Loreche and OPAV.
Montealto said anytime next week, the DOTr will open its vaccination site at the LTO-7 Malasakit Licensing Office on the Natalio Bacalso Ave. here.
He said the next vaccination site to be opened by the agency will be at the Mactan Cebu International Airport to ramp up the inoculation of workers and passengers.
Montealto said the opening of vaccination desks at the South Bus Terminal near the LTO-Cebu office and the North Bus Terminal in Mandaue City were also discussed during the meeting. However, he said they are constrained to look for alternatives.
“We’ve discovered that our terminals were damaged by the Typhoon Odette. We could not sacrifice the efficacy of the vaccines. They are very sensitive to the environment, as they need proper storage before administering them,” he told the Philippine News Agency.
Loreche said the establishment of inoculation desks is to bring “the vaccines to where people are and make it very easy and accessible to the people. As to the fees that can be collected, this can be discussed and included in the guidelines of agreement.”
She said tapping the pharmacies can be an added avenue for people to easily get their Covid-19 vaccine “and hopefully increase further our target of reaching the herd immunity”. (PNA)