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DILG Urges Philippine LGUs to Update COVID-19 Vaccine Data

Image credit: www.gov.ph

The Philippine Department of the Interior and Local Government Spokesperson and Undersecretary have urged local government units (LGUs) to ensure regular updating of their respective COVID-19 data in the Vaccine Monitoring System (VMS) as this will give the true scope of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The DILG said that the local government units should expedite encoding the needed information to the system so that the national government can make informed decisions on where to deploy the next round of vaccines or send additional manpower to help in the vaccination programme.

In a report submitted by the DILG Central Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), only 444 LGUs of the total 1,634 cities and municipalities have completed encoding their data to the VMS. Of this number, however, around 1,190 LGUs have failed to update their data.

The country’s National Task Force Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer has emphasised the importance of monitoring the post-administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The inoculation of 70 per cent of the population is a “Herculean task” and the national government must decentralise the administration of the vaccine. The task force also noted that they must prepare accurate and reliable data because it is critical in the end-to-end vaccination programme.

At the same time, the DILG-10 Regional Director urged the DILG field officers to reflect real-time reports required by the Central and Regional Offices since these data will be the basis in forming key COVID-19 related decisions. The agency said that if they cannot come up with reports about real-time situations, then decisions cannot be made based on correct information.

The agency also shared the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) Vaccine Information Management System (VIMS) and its offer to train the LGUs in using said system.

The DICT is being assisted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), DILG, the Department of Health (DOH) and other organisations in rolling out the system nationwide said the official via news reports. The agency is also trying to tap national ICT councils for assistance in training personnel on using the system in vaccination centres.

The VIMS aims to be the “single source of truth” for all information concerning the country’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts. It may be used by the country’s health professionals to organise the actual vaccination in vaccine centres and even LGUs to come up with better actions and policies concerning their vaccination progress.

The agency said that the VIMS also allows for the exchange of information and data with other systems and that the DICT is currently working on its interoperability with the pre-existing vaccine systems of LGUs. LGUs shall submit their master list containing candidates for vaccination so that their information can be filled out in the VIMS base. The submitted information will already be at the vaccination centre and the LGUs only need to look for it, click on it, and they are good to go.

It is vital for them to send their master list immediately because this is important for the agency’s demand planning, distribution and allocation, the DICT noted. The agency, however, admitted that they have been consistently following up on LGUs who have yet to submit their master lists and that the DILG has been helping them in the effort.

The national government hopes to inoculate 50 to 70 million Filipinos against the COVID-19 virus by year-end. It is currently vaccinating health workers, senior citizens and people with comorbidities.

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