MANILA - Some 24,000 residents of San Juan City have signed up to get themselves inoculated with the vaccine against COVID-19, Mayor Francis Zamora said Monday.
This is almost 3 times the number it initially reported last month. Zamora said he has volunteered to be among the first ones to receive the vaccine to be able to boost his constituents' confidence about it.
"As of today, we have 24,559 registrants. We were informed by DOH (Department of Health) that we are ranked number 1 in Metro Manila in terms of the number of registrants. I believe that by volunteering, it shows people that the vaccine process can be trusted, that the mayor himself will undergo the process," he told ANC's Headstart.
Zamora said the local government is going house to house to encourage residents to register for the vaccination, bringing along a tablet so that they may do so on the spot. Manual registration is also available at barangay halls and health centers, he said.
"I am very confident that here in San Juan, we will be able to vaccinate 100 percent of those who register and those who qualify with the medical clearance," he said.
San Juan has prepared at least 5 vaccination sites, including hospitals and transformed gymnasiums, where some 100 employees will be available to inject the drug into patients.
Zamora said first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine would be the 3,700 frontline and health workers in San Juan, to be followed by senior citizens and indigents.
The city targets to inoculate some 85,000 people to reach 70 percent of its population of 122,000. Zamora is "very optimistic" the current number of registrants will increase once the vaccination process is rolled out.
The local government of San Juan has signed a tripartite agreement with the national government and AstraZeneca for the procurement of 100,000 coronavirus shots.
As the city is also part of Metro Manila, it may receive some vaccines from Pfizer, which will be given by the COVAX facility, he said.
Zamora said if China-made Sinovac gets an emergency use authorization like AstraZeneca and Pfizer and if the national government gives assurance of its safety, then it may also be used.
A survey revealed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government on Sunday showed that only 3 out of 10 individuals in Metro Manila were willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Although this is much lower than the agency's target of immunizing at least 80 percent of the capital region's population, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said government won't force the public to get their jabs, but it will double its efforts to encourage them.
As of Sunday, the Philippines has a total of 549,176 coronavirus cases, with 511,743 recoveries and 11,515 fatalities.