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Ready! DOH Bicol conducts COVID-19 vaccination simulation exercises

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The Department of Health – Bicol Center for Health Development has started its preparations for the expected arrival of coronavirus vaccines in the region through simulation exercises.

The DOH’s Regional Vaccine Operation Center (RVOC) together with the Bicol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) conducted the first in the series of COVID-19 vaccine simulation exercises.

According to the department, the event aimed to determine the readiness of the identified hospitals in the region where the vaccination of its health care providers will be first conducted.

The simulation exercise was held last February 18 & 19, 2021 at the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH), Bicol Medical Center (BMC), and the Naga Imaging Center Cooperative Doctors Hospital (NICC Doctors Hospitals). These health facilities were identified based on the cold chain facility, strategic location, number of cases, high exposure of its health personnel to COVID-19 infection and capacity to respond.

“The SIMEX started from the arrival of the mock vaccines in Legazpi airport following the protocols of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), to transport to BRTTH and the actual vaccination process which includes registration, counseling and consent, screening and assessment, and vaccination and post vaccination monitoring and management of any occurrence of a post-vaccination reaction event,” the DOH said.

“All the activities were timed to assure compliance to proper vaccine handling, storage, and transport. The said process was likewise simulated at the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) and NICC, both in Naga City,” it added.

Following the SIMEX, a post-activity meeting was conducted to provide feedback to the hospital management on areas identified for improvement which included crowd control, risk communication and counseling, time compliance, physical and proper set up of step-by-step process, observance of minimum public health standards, and proper disposal of logistics.

“Please take these feedbacks as an opportunity for us to enhance further an satuyang sistema. It is not meant to criticize, neither is it meant to put you down,” Assistant Regional Director of DOH Bicol, Dr. Ferchito L. Avelino noted.