Under-staffed Dagupan vax center needs more nurses

By June 21, 2021Top Stories


VACCINATION at the Dagupan City Astrodome is proceeding smoothly despite the fact that the city has only seven nurses in the regular plantilla and all of whom had to be pulled out from their respective assignments to be on duty at the city’s central vaccination center.

This was disclosed by Dr. Dalvie Casilang, head of the city’s vaccination team during the committee hearing of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), where he said the present number of nurses of the city is 12 short of the required 19 nurses to meet  the ideal ratio of one nurse to 10,000 population. The city‘s population today is 190,000.

Councilor Marcelino Fernandez’s query about the conduct of a  community vaccination for the benefit of those of missed their appointments, Casilang said it’s not still not possible to have additional vaccination centers because of the shortage of nurses.

He said Department of Health (DOH) sent some nurses to help in vaccination but they are on a contractual basis whose three-month contracts with DOH are expiring by end of July.

Casilang recommended that the city government absorbs the trained contractual nurses.

He said the vaccination center is also getting from barangay nurses and public health nurses deployed to many ongoing programs, i.e., fight against tuberculosis, hypertension, diabetes, animal bites and many others.

Presently, the nurses at the Astrodome are overworked, doing administrative tasks from scheduling of vaccination, maintaining a database, encoding and calling and sending text messages to those scheduled to get the second dose of the vaccine in addition to their main tasks in the vaccination program.

The city’s nurses  are on duty from 8:00 a.m. till evening , Monday to Friday for vaccination  sessions and still have to report on weekends, Casilang said.

He said Philippine Red Cross chapter also offered to help and initially asked that it administers the vaccines at its own vaccination center but it eventually agreed to combine forces since the supply of the vaccine will have to come from the Dagupan Vaccination Center, the DOH-approved vaccination site.

Meanwhile, Casilang said Dagupan City may not be given the Pfizer vaccine as it has no ultra-freezer to meet its storage requirement – 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. (Leonardo Micua)

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