Multi-Purpose Center tagged as a vaccination site

Posted on Apr 20 2021

The Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe has been identified as another vaccination site for the CNMI.

Speaking at a radio briefing last Friday, Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force chair Warren Villagomez said the Multi-Purpose Center will be used to accommodate people living in the southern part of Saipan. The choice of the Multi-Purpose Center has the support of the Federal Emergency Management Administration, which will pay for the use of the facility, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, he added.

“With these efforts, in consultation with Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther Muña, we are looking, with to double the number that we are doing at the Medical Care and Treatment Site, so we can reach our goal [of achieving] herd immunity in the CNMI,” said Villagomez.

It was not immediately learned when the vaccination drive will begin at the Multi-Purpose Center.

The CNMI is projected to have herd immunity by mid-June, according to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres. As of April 15, CHCC had already administered 35,000 COVID-19 vaccine shots. The CNMI has an estimated population of 55,000. Herd immunity is when a large number of a population is vaccinated enough to provide soime indirect protection to the unvaccinated ones.

Speaking at the same radio briefing, Muña said that 48% of the CNMI’s adult population has already been vaccinated and 36% of the adult population are now fully vaccinated. As of April 19, at 6pm, CHCC’s vaccination dashboard shows there has been 36,965 shots that have already been administered.

According to Torres, who also spoke at the radio briefing, the use of the Multi-Purpose Center as another vaccination site will help the CNMI reach its herd immunity goal. “The whole goal [is] we get our community safe by getting vaccinated. We bring back our tourism, slowly but surely and with the right approach, working with all of our partners here. …We [can] all work together [on] how we [can] bring back our tourism,” he said.

Once tourism picks up on island, Torres said, his administration will have a better view of where the CNMI stands in the coming years.

Currently, the CNMI has one vaccination site, which is the MCATS at the upper-level parking lot of the Commonwealth Health Center on Navy Hill. CHCC has also set up a pop-up vaccination site in San Antonio for the elderly population.

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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