‘Online registration for COVID-19 vaccine helps’

One more tests positive in CNMI
Posted on Jan 19 2021

A month after the CNMI opened its vaccination portal for online registration, Esther Muña, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s chief executive officer, said that online registration helps the CNMI plan an effective strategy that will help the islands get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, CHCC announced that one more person tested positive for COVID-19 last Jan. 17, raising the CNMI’s total to 129 cases since March 28, 2020. A CHCC statement posted on its Facebook page said that the individual was identified by travel screening and confirmed diagnosis through testing upon arrival.

“The individual has been safely in quarantine and was moved to the designated isolation area for close monitoring. CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed case, including passengers on the same flight,” the statement added.

Speaking at the radio news briefing last Friday, Muña stated that online registration makes it easier for the CHCC team, the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, and the Torres-Palacios administration to determine the number of vaccines that are needed.

“It’s easier because we can determine the amount. …You know, that requires a lot of technical issues. We need to make sure that we get the correct amount [of vaccines] from the freezer, you thaw them out, you dilute them, and then you…open the vial and get [the vaccine] into the syringe, and you have a certain time to use those, so it is very important to know the numbers so that we can plan it,” said Muña.

For his part, task force chair Warren Villagomez, stated in the same radio news briefing that the CNMI’s strategies are “proven to be effective.”

“At the same time, I want to thank everyone for their proactive engagement and willingness to get vaccinated and we continue to campaign,” said Villagomez.

Both officials also confirmed that CHCC is going back to vaccinating the 60-years-old-and-above population who are part of Phase 1B. Muña stated that these individuals are a big group within the CNMI, based on the U.S. Census last year.

Muña said that when CHCC did the Phase 1A group, which included the 65-years-old-and-above population, barely anyone was showing up. However, when CHCC opened up vaccinations for the 60-years-old-and-above population, more people started showing up.

Muña stated that they will continue to determine if they need to lower the age group and get closer to more of the CNMI’s population.

Justine Nauta
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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