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Covid-19 vaccine to be administered in 3 phases

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THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. will administer an approved Covid-19 vaccine in three phases, CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna told the Rotary Club of Saipan on Tuesday.

She was invited by the club to give an update on the Covid-19 situation in the CNMI.

She said the first phase will be the vaccination of healthcare workers.  They’re the priority, she said, adding that vaccine for Covid-19 may be available later this year or in the first quarter of 2021.

The second phase is the vaccination of vulnerable community members — those who are pregnant and those with health conditions.

The third phase is the vaccination of the  general population.

Subroto Banerji, CHCC chief operating officer, said they are still at the planning stage and will work with private providers which will help distribute the vaccine.

He said the challenge is the management of the vaccine.

“They have different levels of management, some require -80 degree Fahrenheit level…. We have to maintain it in ultra-cold temperature. With the climate that we have, we are interested to see where those decisions will be made,” Banerji said.

He said based on the initial information about the Covid-19 vaccine, it will require two shots,  28 days apart.

Muna said CHCC also recognizes that it cannot force people who do not want to be immunized. 

As for the flu vaccine, Banerji said CHCC will roll it out in three phases starting this month. “We want to utilize flu vaccination as a way to ‘sensitize the community to the value of vaccinations.’”

He added that CHCC’s planning group may also conduct a community survey before preparing a communications plan “that is centered on science while at the same time recognizing the people’s concerns about vaccines.”

He said CHCC wants to engage the community in question-and-answer discussions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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