Bayanihan Bakunahan, a joint initiative

SM Supermalls

Posted at Dec 07 2021 01:57 PM | Updated as of Dec 07 2021 01:58 PM

In its bid to further ramp up the vaccination rollout in the Philippines, the government recently held a mass vaccination drive dubbed Bayanihan Bakunahan, in efforts to inoculate nine million Filipinos nationwide from November 29 to December 1.

The three-day vaccination drive's ceremonial launch at SM City Masinag was attended by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte; Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force against Coronavirus Disease-2019 (NTF COVID-19) chief implementer; Health Secretary Francisco Duque III; Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Chair, Senate Committee on Health and Demography; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzena; Rizal Governor Rebecca "Nini" Ynares; SM Supermalls President Steven Tan; members of the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force; Cabinet Secretaries; and partners from the private and public sectors. 

From L to R: Kenneth Yang (President and CEO, McDonald's Philippines), Sherielysse ''Booey
From L to R: Kenneth Yang (President and CEO, McDonald's Philippines), Sherielysse ''Booey" Bonifacio (Director of Public Affairs, Grab), George Royeca (Co-founder and Chief Transport Advocate, Angkas), Jose "Pepot" Miñana (Chief Sustainability and Public Affairs Officer, Jollibee), Paolo Borromeo (President and CEO, Ayala Health), and Dr. Anthony Tamayo (Chairman, COCOPEA). Photo source: SM

Bayanihan Bakunahan is a collaborative effort of the government, led by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in cooperation with the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, together with various communities and private organizations. 

"This multi-sectoral event is a resounding expression of our Bayanihan spirit, which coincides with the nation's observance of Bonifacio Day on November 30. The heroic example of Gat Andres Bonifacio's courage resonates in each of us as we work together to fast-track and intensify our efforts to overcome this health crisis," said President Duterte in a speech.

Bayanihan Bakunahan was rolled out nationwide to increase the country's coverage of the first dose to 70% as well as to increase the booster jabs across 16 regions outside Metro Manila. The second wave of the vaccination drive is slated for December 15 to 17. 

"The concept of Bayanihan Bakunahan is that you and I, we are both heroes. And we can be heroes if we vaccinate ourselves against the virus, not only for ourselves and our families but also for the people around us," said Ma. Florinda Princess E. Duque, Director IV, Bureau of Communications Services. 

During the event, the government mentioned that the Philippines is expecting to vaccinate 54 million Filipinos by the end of the year, including 80% of minors aged 12 to 17 years old. President Duterte also said that the government seeks to complete booster shots of fully-vaccinated seniors, health workers, and people with comorbidities by the end of 2021. As of November, over 35 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated. 

Meanwhile, the government assured the public that there is enough supply for these vaccination drives. ''It is safe to say that we have enough vaccine doses for the National Vaccination Days. The national government is continuously working with the local government in terms of vaccine supply. Also, preparations have been done beforehand so that we can reach our goal of inoculating three million individuals per day," said Communications Director Duque. 

Under the collaboration, SM Supermalls, along with over 8,000 vaccination sites, will be opened to accommodate the target population. To date, SM Supermalls has already administered six million doses of the vaccines in over 71 malls around the country, of that number 200,000 are children aged 12 to 17 years old inoculated at 45 malls.

''We at SM Supermalls have always believed that getting vaccinated is the best defense Filipinos have against the virus. In the past months of working together with the government, we have achieved great things. We thank the government for the opportunity to serve the country and our fellow Filipinos as we open more convenient and accessible mall vaccination sites nationwide,'' said Steven Tan, President of SM Supermalls. 

Apart from opening 66 mall vaccination sites, SM Supermalls also announced the participation of the National University in this endeavor. Over 500 alumni, employees, and students from the university have registered to volunteer during the Bayanihan Bakunahan. 

For those who have been vaccinated, booster shots will only be administered to those who had their 2nd dose for at least 6 months. Individuals who will avail of the booster shot should present a copy of their vaccination card. Apart from that, vaccinated individuals are also encouraged to volunteer in their respective LGUs and to rally behind the government to be vaccine advocates in their communities. 

''Let us be heroes in this fight against the virus. Get vaccinated, volunteer, and encourage your families, friends, workplaces, and communities to get jabbed. Let us all strive to make this Christmas safer and better for the people we value most. Because it is only through our collective will to put an end to this crisis will we be able to build back better for a brighter future,'' Tan closed.

The 3-day mass vaccination has so far inoculated more than seven million Filipinos and numbers are expected to rise in succeeding drives. 

For more information and up-to-date news on vaccination schedules at the SM malls in your LGU, follow @smsupermalls on all social media platforms.

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