Master listing and data management are integral pre-implementation planning activities being done across hospitals and local government units, especially in the context of the upcoming COVID vaccine deployment across the country.

“Because of the limited supply of COVID vaccines globally, we need to do prioritization. Kaya kailangan natin i-list ang lahat ng at-risk, lahat ng vulnerable, para sila yung umpisahan natin at tayo ay magkaroon ng maayos na pagbabakuna,” said Usec. Singh-Vergeire. Master listing with demographics and health profiles will enable identification of eligible population groups in order to guide operational planning and create a central database needed for efficient post-vaccine monitoring.

With 117,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to be available mid-February, as well as an estimated 5M to 9M doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine expected by the second quarter of this year from the COVAX Facility, preparations have been ongoing to ensure smooth and efficient vaccine distribution once the vaccines are delivered.

In line with this, USec. Singh-Vergeire explained that the current vaccines reduce the risk of severe disease and risk of death, and are most suited for those with higher risk of exposure and death. The order of master listing also reflects the order of prioritization for vaccination, which was developed following the principles as endorsed by the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group.

With the anticipated arrival of the vaccines from the COVAX Facility, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III highlighted how important master listing is to ensure that wastage of the COVID-19 vaccines is kept minimal, saying “While wastage is inevitable, it should be kept as minimal as possible especially for COVID-19 vaccines dahil alam natin na bawat dose ng bakuna ay mahalaga because of shortage of supply.”

However, even when the COVID-19 vaccination begins rolling out, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III in a separate statement also reiterated the importance of compliance to minimum public health standards, emphasizing that the vaccine only serves as an added protection from risks of virus infection.

“Atin pong alalahanin ang kahalagahan ng vaccine plus. Kahit na tayo ay vaccinated na laban sa COVID-19, mariin pa rin po namin ipinapaalala sa taumbayan na sundin ang ating minimum public health standards, gaya ng pagsuot ng face masks at shield, pag-maintain ng physical distancing, at madalas na pag-sanitize ng mga kamay sa mga pampublikong lugar.”