Quezon City, which has allocated P1 billion to immunize its citizens against COVID-19, has earned the approval of the country’s National Task Force when the local government presented its vaccine deployment plan on Thursday.

“[Your plan] is very well-thought of, you’ve already done the staff work. Bumaba na talaga kayo. I was looking nga at my notes, at kumpleto na sya, nagawa na sya,” said Department of Health (DOH) Director Aleli Sudiacal, commending the city’s overall vaccine plan and simulation.

“Ako po ’yung naatasang bumutas sa plano ng lungsod ng Quezon, as Secretary [Duque] said, but how can you ‘make butas’ something as good as this,” Sudiacal said.

Mayor Joy Belmonte thanked the members of the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team, led by the National Task Force and the Inter-agency for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, who visited the city for a discussion and presentation of the proposed immunization program of the local government.

“Sa simula pa lang ng pandemya, ginawa natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya sa lungsod laban sa virus na ito. Ngayong mayroon ng COVID-19 vaccine, mandato pa rin namin siguruhing maayos at ligtas na maibibigay ito sa ating QCitizens,” said Belmonte.

Quezon City earlier announced it will receive an initial 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine good for 550,000 people, after the city government signed a tripartite agreement with the national government through the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles assured Belmonte and the city council that the national government will provide vaccines for the rest of the 2.1 million QCitizens or 70 percent of the population, which is the ideal coverage to achieve herd immunity.

“We have come here today to assure you kung ano po ang kulang at kinakailangan pa na vaccine to inoculate the 70 percent of your population, ay national government na po ang bahala dyan. We commit to inoculate the around 2.1 million residents that we need to inoculate,” said Nograles.

QC Vaccine Plan

Under Executive Order no. 44 s. 2020, the city established Task Force Vax to Normal which is tasked to oversee and ensure the expeditious and orderly acquisition and distribution of the vaccine in the city.

Joseph Juico, head of the task force, said the city has around 1.05 million citizens in the priority listing, which includes public and private healthcare workers, barangay frontliners, senior citizens, persons with disability, uniformed personnel, and indigent families.

“We recently launched the online registration for QC ID to put together the priority list for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. An on-the-ground registration will also be held for those who do not have access to internet,” he said.

The city also recently launched QC Protektodo sa Bakunang Sigurado, a communications campaign aimed to promote awareness and allay public fear on immunization against coronavirus.

Juico added that the city will be tapping the Zuellig Pharmaceutical Company as its logistics partner to ensure the proper inventory, storage, and management of the vaccines once these enter the country.

The city has identified a total of 24 schools as vaccination sites. Each of these will be manned by a team composed of at least 22 medical and non-medical personnel. More sites will be added as it finalizes talks with the Diocese of Cubao and the Diocese of Novaliches who have offered their parishes as inoculation sites. Talks are also underway with the city’s universities and colleges. The augmentation of manpower resources for any additional sites is also being discussed through initiatives with the private sector.