- by Pacific Island Times News Staff
Health care personnel, residents of longterm care facilities to get first crack at Covid-19 vaccine
Guam's latest Covid-19 death toll: 115
Health care personnel and residents of longterm care facilities have been identified as the priority groups that will be in front of the line for the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine, which is anticipated to arrive on Guam in the middle of this month.
According to the Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Policy Committee, health care personnel will be prioritized on account of their exposure to the coronavirus; while the facility patients based on their specialized care needs.
Both groups were recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be vaccinated first during the initial phases of Covid-19 vaccine availability.
Next in line are the essential service workers, whose jobs entail difficulty in social distancing while on duty.
The committee held its inaugural meeting Thursday afternoon to orient members about their role and update them on progress made regarding the Covid-19 vaccine management for Guam.
The Department of Public Health and Social Services earlier said Guam is anticipating to receive a total of 11,700 doses of anti-Covid19 vaccine that will fully immunize 5,850 individuals.
"After surveying the healthcare community, essential service workers, and long term care
facilities, initial estimates indicate that the number of those who will receive the first round of
vaccines is about 2,600 individuals. This number, however, does not include all private sector healthcare workers," DPHSS said in a press release after the meeting.
In addition to advising DPHSS on critical population groups who will receive the first round of vaccines, the VAPPC functions also include developing a communication plan to explain
rationale for establishing target groups for vaccine treatment.
They will also review and monitor current information on the use, effectiveness and safety of the Covid-19 vaccine and CDC's recommendations.
"The VAPPC will, as needed, revise priority groups and subgroups based on CDC
recommendations," DPHSS said. "The VAPPC will ensure that all recommendations and decisions are rooted in the four key ethical principles: maximize benefits, minimize harm; promote justice; mitigate health inequities; and promote transparency."
Meanwhile, the Joint Information Center reported two more Covid-19-related fatalities, which brought Guam's death toll to 115.
A 60-year old man died at the Guam Memorial Hospital around 10:38 a.m. on Dec. 7. He had underlying conditions that were further compounded by Covid-19. He was admitted to GMH on Oct. 1, and tested th positive upon admission.
Guam’s 115th Covid-19-related fatality occurred at GMH at approximately 5:20 p.m. Thursday. The patient, a 49-year-old man with underlying conditions , was admitted to GMH on Nov. 18, and was a known positive case.
Thirteen new cases of Covid -19 were identified out of 516 tests performed on Wednesday, Dec. 9,. Three cases were identified through contact tracing.
To date, there have been a total of 7,052 officially reported cases of Covid -19 with 115 deaths, 555 cases in active isolation and 6,382 not in active isolation.