2 more Metro Manila pharmacies giving COVID-19 vaccine boosters

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2022 07:08 PM

MANILA - Two pharmacies in Metro Manila on Friday started giving COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to Filipinos. 

These are the Mercury Drug branch on Retiro St. in Quezon City, and another Mercury Drug branch in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. 

COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca are being given at the Retiro St. branch, which also accepts walk-in vaccinations. 

Overall, there are seven pharmacies and two private clinics rolling out vaccine boosters in Metro Manila. According to the Department of Health-NCR, seven more pharmacy branches have applied to become vaccination booster sites. 

The DOH has met with the Philippine Pharmacists Association to shorten the training period of COVID-19 vaccinators and make the jabs free. 

“Isang buwan ang training ng Philippine Pharmacists Association. But that includes kasi iba-ibang bakuna," said DOH-NCR Director Gloria Balboa. "Since ang concern natin dito COVID, pwedeng paiksiin. Ginawang one week. Since ito ay initiative ng DOH, with the Philippine Pharmacists Association, ililibre ‘yun only for COVID vaccine." 

(The Philippine Pharmacists Association takes one month to train vaccinators. But that includes various vaccines. Since we're only concerned with COVID vaccines, this training period can be shortened to one week. Since this is an initiative of the DOH and the Philippine Pharmacists Association, we can make the COVID vaccine free.) 

“Bawat pharmacy kasi may limited lang sila na number ng trained na pharmacists. So siyempre, kung gaano karami ang kanilang expansion sites will depend on the number of trained pharmacies to do the vaccination,” Balboa added. 

(Every pharmacy has a limited number of trained pharmacists. So of course, the number of expansion sites will depend on the number of trained pharmacies to do the vaccination.) 

The National Task Force against COVID-19 aims to administer half a million booster shots daily. Overall, more than 7 million out of 58.5 million fully vaccinated Filipinos have gotten booster shots. 

In a survey by the Social Weather Stations in December, four out of five vaccinated adult Filipinos were open to getting a booster jab. Thirteen percent meanwhile were not sure, while 7 percent were not open to getting a booster dose. 

- With a report by Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News.