COVID-19 vaccinations capped at 4,800

Posted on Feb 25 2021

As of Feb. 23, the CNMI is only able to accommodate 4,800 new registration for COVID-19 vaccinations, according to Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther Muña.

Speaking at a media briefing last Friday, Muña disclosed that because the CNMI only has enough doses left for about 4,800 individuals, as of Feb. 23, CHCC is prioritizing the man’amko and those with underlying medical conditions.

Because COVID-19 vaccination is a two-shot regimen, CHCC needs to ensure that it has enough vaccines for both doses on stock so that all registrants are able to get their second doses when it’s scheduled. It is not clear yet when the CNMI will get more doses.

In Guam, the limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine has resulted in postponing the scheduled vaccination for this Saturday, Feb. 27. Those who are affected will be expecting a call from the University of Guam’s call center on behalf of the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

For the CNMI, Muña said that at this time, the hospital will prioritize the man’amko who are 55 years and older. Muña said that these individuals and those with medical conditions, they can make a request with their medical provider. CHCC already has a system in place where the doctor, or physician, that can send a message to CHCC to let them know that an individual does meet the category of someone with medical conditions or is 55 years or older, so that they can be put “in front of the line.”

“We are actively trying to get our numbers up for the man’amko and those with medical conditions. We already have a system in place for those who want to be vaccinated, and they can just contact their doctor by phone, especially if they have a medical record at their primary care provider,” said Muña.

As for Guam, they will continue with vaccinations once supply is restored, and additional vaccination clinics will be scheduled and will be announced so that individuals who can complete their vaccination series.

It was learned that those who were anticipating their second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Saturday can get their second dose on Feb. 26.

Justine Nauta | Correspondent
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.
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