The City Government of Davao is now doubling its efforts to prepare for the arrival of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in the city anytime soon.

Another round of simulation exercise on the transport of COVID-19 vaccines from the storage facility to the different vaccination sites in the city will be conducted on Friday, February 12, to ensure the smooth flow of vaccine delivery.

The transport of vaccines commenced from the points of origin at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and the Los Amigos COVID Lab in Mintal at 7 a.m. and will be transported to the Mabini Elementary School in Bangkal.

Authorities are now beefing up security measures to secure the route of the convoy, particularly the sections that are identified as densely populated. 

The Public Safety Security Command Center (PSSCC) will take charge of the security details while the City Transport and Management Office (CTTMO) will man the intersections to ensure that the vehicles transporting the vaccines do not bog down in traffic.

Meanwhile, former health chief Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, who also leads the city’s COVID-19 vaccination program, said during the ‘Madayaw Davao’ program aired via Davao City Disaster Radio in Thursday that necessary preparations have been taken up since the vaccines are expected to arrive in the city anytime soon.

“Sa karon, ginaprepare na nato ang mga gikinahanglan for the vaccination kasi anytime moabot ang vaccine sa Davao City. I-simulate lang nato unsa may mahitabo gikan sa storage facility kasi ang vaccines natin, we will be using a vaccine that has to be kept in a negative 70 centigrade. Tan-awon nato sya para mahibal-an nato unsa ang may problema, unsa ang may mali ug unsa ang dapat i-improve ug kung okay na sya (As of now, we are preparing necessary requirements for vaccination because it will arrive in Davao City anytime soon. We will simulate what’s going to happen from the storage facility because our vaccines, we will be using a vaccine that has to be kept in a negative 70 centigrade. We will observe so that we could identify the problem, our mistake [if there’s any], what will be improved and if it is okay already),” Villafuerte said.

According to Villafuerte, around 1.2 million individuals are targeted to be immunized in the city, wherein more than 500,000 individuals come from priority groups comprising front liners, senior citizens and uniformed personnel. They will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

Villafuerte also encouraged Dabawenyos to  register early at their respective health districts to estimate the number of vaccines to be distributed.

“Ang among request because we are in the process of master listing, magparegister na po sila para matantya na natin ilan ang talaga ang mabibigyan (Our request, because we are in the process of master listing, is that they take early registration for us to estimate how many will be vaccinated),” she said.

Villafuerte also said that only 18 years old and up are qualified to register for the COVID-19 vaccination while pregnant women are still prohibited from taking the shot. CIO