It successfully vaccinating 14,000 people at the Rita Flynn facility since the rollout of the program in May this year.
NCDPHA was given 4,000 vaccine doses of the Australia-donated AstraZenecca vaccines during the launch on May 12th but that was used up within a week. From the original donation which will expire on 29th July, 200 doses are left. According to NCD Immunization Program Officer, Janet Pongon, these will probably be used within two days.
NCDPHA CEO, Dr Maru Garo, said health workers will be dispatched to the three districts in NCD to continue the vaccination program. They will use 12 urban clinics as venues.
“We appreciate the vaccination as an important component of this dealing with the pandemic, without which we know for certain that the next wave of infections coming can be kind of suppressing, in a way if we are able to establish immunity and sustain that,” Dr Garo said.
Though there had been 14,000 who were vaccinated at the Rita Flynn facility, most of them were from the corporate sector due to work requirements. The 200 to 300 people coming in for vaccination at Rita Flynn, are not from the general community.
“The other thing is the other target population are those sick ones or comorbidities. Those ones will not be ready to come out so we feel that much of the numbers for the sick ones are actually of those that are going to the clinics. So that’s an area that we need to reach out to them and once they come into our own clinics we might as well make use of that opportunity,” Dr Garo said.
With regards to the response from the front line health workers, there’s still a low response from the health workers in NCD towards the vaccine. So far only 15-20% had been vaccinated. There are more than 500 health workers in NCD and authorities are appealing to health workers to come forward and get the vaccine. At the launch of the Astra-Zenecca vaccine in May, forty nine health workers both clinical and non-clinical took the immunizations amidst fear and misconceptions.
NCDPHA has only few more days left for the vaccines to expire so they are going all out to reach the unreached population within the city limits. They will be requesting doses from the 146,000 AZ vaccines which will expire in September.
“Our strategy now is three things: to reach out to those communities and improve the coverage in NCD and the 2nd one is to complete the doses within the expiry dates and three, is to be able to increase the number of vaccination for those who are sick,” Dr. Garo said.
NCDPHA will start vaccination on Wednesday 21st moving to the NCD clinics including Taurama and Gerehu hospitals. The vaccine type being rolled out in NCD in this program is AstraZenecca.