The University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, in partnership with the Quezon City Local Government Unit, opened a vaccination hub at the UP College of Human Kinetics gymnasium, dubbed the “Bakunahan sa UP Diliman”. When the vaccination hub called for volunteers to act as medical and non-medical frontliners, members of the UP community responded to the call.
The hub’s initial operations ran for a week, starting on April 26 when it held a simulation run and vaccination for its medical and non-medical frontliner volunteers, and continued from April 28 to May 5, 2021.
The first batch of vaccines rolled out to the UP Diliman vaccination hub catered to 817 vaccines. Following the Department of Health’s (DOH) COVID-19 Vaccination Prioritization Framework, individuals who were given priority for the vaccines and received the jab were in the A1 to A3 categories: senior citizens; persons with comorbidities; and, non-medical frontliners and UP employees who physically report to work for essential services, such as maintenance personnel and security guards.
The 4-step process
Dr. Alfred Tengonciang, one of the overall supervisors of the Quezon City-UP College of Human Kinetics Vaccination Hub (QC-UP CHK), explained that there is a DOH Interim Omnibus for the deployment of the vaccine. He added that for the QC-UP CHK vaccination site, the system in place is quite different.
As registration is the first step in the whole vaccination process, the hub expanded the registration station to prevent people from bundling up as they fall in line. The registration station consists of: the help desk; the orientation that is part counseling, part health education, and part assistance offered to vaccinees in filling in the forms; and, the data encoding.
The second step in the process takes place in the screening station where the vaccinees have their vital signs checked by volunteer medical frontliners, after which they are then cleared to be vaccinated by volunteer doctors.. The vaccination station comes after screening, wherein vaccinees receive the first dose of the Sinovac vaccine. In the last step, vaccinees undergo post-vaccination observation in the monitoring station.
“If people are moving in all of the stations, they will feel and see that the system is making progress at the different stations. The design of the vaccination system makes the flow at the hub smoother and easier,” Dr. Tengonciang said, adding that with a smoothly working system in place, the vaccination team is looking at increasing the capacity of its operations in the succeeding days.
UP community effort
The volunteers who man and maintain the QC-UP CHK vaccination hub include administrative staff, REPS, and faculty from the UP System, UP Diliman, and UP Manila.
Dr. Maria Dulce Natividad, Chairperson of the Special Committee of the UPD COVID-19 Task Force, explained that in early 2021, UPD Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo was already engaged in talks with Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte regarding the procurement of vaccines for the UP community.
The QC-UP CHK vaccination hub is a huge undertaking, especially considering that the Task Force had only two weeks to prepare and set up the vaccination site. Setting up the hub was made easier through the vaccine surveys initially sent out to the potential vaccinees, and through the voluntary effort of the UP community to make sure that a safe and efficient operation was put into place.
“UP has a mandate to render public service. Given the resources made available for UP, we urgently need to respond by providing accessible vaccination to all. We really wanted the initiative to be a community effort so that people can participate in it, and not only UP for UP. What we want is to get everybody on board and be part of this initiative. We are working together to help take care of public health,” Natividad said.
For the second batch of vaccine rollout scheduled on the second week of May, the volunteers of the QC-UP CHK vaccination hub will serve retired employees and dependents of active UP employees who are in the A2 and A3 categories of the DOH priority of vaccines.
Copeland Gym as UPLB’s vaccination hub
The UP Los Baños (UPLB) administration immediately responded to the call to serve as a vaccination hub after the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Union of the Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) called for partnerships for resiliency, rehabilitation, and national recovery in the fight against COVID-19, according to a press release by the CHED.
“We responded to CHED’s commitment with the ULAP to have the facilities of higher education institutions (HEIs) as vaccination centers for the country’s expanded immunization program. UPLB, through the guidance of our UP President Danilo Concepcion, was very supportive of the initiative,” UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. said in a CHED statement.
The UPLB vaccination hub is serving citizens from two municipalities in Laguna. According to the UPLB University Health Service, the hub has partnered with the Los Baños Municipal Health Office led by Municipal Health Officer Dr. Alvin Isidoro. The UHS COVID-19 Vaccination Team is composed of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals.