Heavy traffic and distribution delays continued Friday at the COVID-19 vaccination sites even as the Department of Public Health and Social Services tried its best to organize the vaccination process.
Public Health even opened up a clinic in Inarajan, partnered up with GRMC, and started a ticket system to address the long lines issue.
DPHSS spokesperson Janela Carrera says that the ticket system was adopted to ensure that residents have a place in line.
“Up to 350 for our manamko, up to 250 for our healthcare workers, and for our law enforcement who are registered, up to 50 tickets for them. We have staff, GPD, as well as our National Guard going out to each and every car that’s in line, giving them tickets. So for every car that has eligible individuals to receive the vaccine, we’re giving them tickets inside of their vehicles,” Carrera said.
She added: “That ensures they have a place in line, that way if they’re in their vehicles and they don’t get their ticket, they’re not waiting for a really long time for hours like they did yesterday, we don’t want to repeat that. We understand that people, they have lives, they have things to do and we don’t want to waste their time. We want to apologize for those who did have to go through that yesterday who unfortunately weren’t able to receive the vaccination vaccine yesterday. We do apologize for that.”
When it came to diverting the rest of the residents to GRMC for their 1 to 4 pm distribution, the hospital had to delay it for an hour because according to lead pharmacist Darian Oshiro, the vaccines were frozen.
“What was delivered to us at about 1 pm were 150 doses of the Moderna vaccine that was to be used for our public administrations. When we got them, they were deemed to be frozen. As part of the preparation process, it needs to stall at room temperature for at least one hour before administration,” Oshiro said.
Oshiro said they were able to administer the 150 Moderna vaccines to the public and the 100 Pfizer vaccines to their employees approximately around 1:40 that afternoon.
DPHSS Nursing Resource Command for COVID-19 Zennia Pecina, who is also one of the first three residents to receive the vaccine, received her second dose and highly encourages residents to be vaccinated despite the challenges.
“We encourage everyone in the community to please take the vaccine. If you have to take advice from your physician, do that. But I highly encourage that they do take the vaccine because we have to trust in science. You know we’ve been there and we’ve had other vaccines like the flu,” Pecina said.
She added: “I know people are fearful of the effects, signs, and symptoms after being vaccinated. I know people are kind of discouraged, too, because the lines are pretty long but don’t be discouraged, please. There’s going to be other pods, other clinic times to make that available for everyone. We are looking at housing our vaccination to a bigger facility so we can accommodate people more. But please don’t let that discourage you. More so if you have co-mobilities, we encourage you to come and get your vaccine.”
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