4 Metro Manila drugstores to launch COVID-19 vaccination on Thursday


Posted at Jan 19 2022 12:52 PM

A health worker administers COVID-19 vaccine at the Quezon Memorial Circle Vaccination Hub in Quezon City on Jan. 18, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File 
A health worker administers COVID-19 vaccine at the Quezon Memorial Circle Vaccination Hub in Quezon City on Jan. 18, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File 


MANILA — The COVID-19 vaccination drive will be expanded to drugstores and clinics starting with 4 Metro Manila establishments on Jan. 20, an official said on Wednesday, as the Philippines continued battling its biggest coronavirus uptick. 

Drugstores that will offer only COVID-19 booster jabs in a pilot run that would last for about a week include the following, said Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 Response Vince Dizon. 

  • Generika Drugstore, Signal 1 in Taguig 
  • Mercury Drug Malate, Pres. Quirino Avenue
  • Southstar SSD Marikina, Bayan-Bayanihan Avenue
  • Watsons, SM Supertcenter Pasig 

Dizon said 3 more establishments will join the pilot run on Friday, including Healthway Adriatico Tower, Qualimed McKinley, and The Generics Pharmacy in Sun Valley, Marikina.

“Simula muna dito sa NCR. Pero mabilis nating ie-expand ‘yan sa iba’t ibang lugar, lalo na sa malalaking siyudad sa buong bansa,” he said in a televised public briefing. 

(It will start in NCR. But we will quickly expand that to various areas, especially the big cities across the country.) 

“Later on, pati sa iba’t ibang probinsya ie-expand na natin itong programang ito. Mabilis po ito, siguro mga ilang linggo lang ang bibilangin natin, mapapalawak na natin ito sa buong bansa,” added the official. 

(Later on, we will expand this program to different provinces. This will be quick. Perhaps in a few weeks, we will expand this to the whole country.) 

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The pilot run will be limited to adults. They need to pre-register online or they could walk in and register onsite, Dizon said. 

After its pilot run, the program will also offer first and second jabs, he said. 

The official added that the COVID-19 shots would remain free. 

“Ang layunin nito ay talagang mailapit pa natin lalo ang ating pagbabakuna sa ating mga kababayan,” Dizon said. 

(The goal here is to bring the vaccination closer to our compatriots.)

“Papalawakin naman natin ito. Kailangan lang siyempre may kasamang pag-iingat at susubukan muna natin ang sistema sa mga botika dahil unang beses nating gagawin ito,” he continued. 

(We will expand this. We just need to be careful and we will test the system first because this is the first time we are doing this.)

The Philippines has so far fully inoculated about half of its population, but many areas outside the capital region are lagging behind. 

Authorities are eyeing another round of its COVID-19 mass vaccination push “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” within the next few weeks, Dizon said. 

“Hinihintay lang po nating medyo humupa nang kaunti itong omicron surge natin dahil alam naman po nating hirap na hirap po ang ating mga health workers, ang ating mga LGU ngayon,” he said. 

(We are just waiting for our omicron surge to ease a but because we know that our health workers and LGUs are having difficulties right now.) 

Daily coronavirus infections hit record highs several times this month, driven by the highly contagious omicron variant, prompting a tightening of mobility curbs. On Monday, the Philippines started a ban on unvaccinated people from public transport.

The country has recorded more than 3.27 million cases and nearly 53,000 deaths overall.

— With a report from Reuters