MANILA - The Philippine government is preparing to distribute 4 million additional COVID-19 shots to Metro Manila's local governments, as the region eyes boosting its vaccination rate amid tougher lockdowns, a task force said on Tuesday.
According to the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, the government's vaccine allocation for Metro Manila for its 2-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) beginning Friday will come from those delivered from Sinovac last week, and the 3 million vaccine doses from Moderna that will arrive later in the day.
Local chief executives in the capital region, home to 13 million residents, earlier requested for an additional 4 million virus jabs should the ECQ be imposed.
“’Yung nirequest na 4 million doses, may nakalaan na ‘yan, naka-ready na. It will be coming from the current inventory of Sinovac and the arriving Moderna vaccines,” NTF spokesperson Restituto Padilla Jr. told ABS-CBN News.
(Their requested 4 million doses were already allocated, they are ready.)
“Bago pa man magkaroon ng ECQ, nariyan na ‘yung mga supply at ipamamahagi na ito sa mga LGUs dito sa NCR kung saan ang request manggagaling,” Padilla added.
(Even before the ECQ announcement, the vaccine supplies are there and it would be distributed to the local governments in NCR.)
The National Capital Region's (NCR) mayors have committed to administer at least 250,000 vaccine doses daily, the official said.
The Manila city government, meanwhile, will also open a 24/7 COVID-19 vaccination center to help boost its immunization program.
Manila Health Department chief Dr. Arnold Pangan said walk-ins would also be allowed even during the ECQ, as long as they have registered online.
“Lahat ng mga magpapabakuna na kababayan natin dito sa Manila, they have to inform their barangay chairmen na pupunta sila sa vaccination sites para po payagan sila na lumabas," Pangan said.
(Those who would be vaccinated in Manila should inform their village chiefs that they will go to vaccination sites, so they could be allowed to go out)
"Ganoon din ang kapulisan, binigyan ng instructions ni Yorme na lahat ng magpapabakuna ay mag-aassist ang ating kapulisan at papayagan sila na pumunta sa ating mga vaccination sites,” he added.
(Our mayor also instructed our policemen to assist those who would be vaccinated and allow them to go to vaccination sites)
“Hindi na po sila kailangan makatanggap ng text message. Same procedure sa ginagawa natin ngayon. Lahat ng pupunta sa vaccination sites kailangan pre-registered at may QR code."
(They no longer need to receive a text message. The procedure's the same, since all those who need to go to vaccination sites need to pre-register and should have their QR Codes.)
But in Navotas, walk-ins are discouraged in vaccination sites during the ECQ period, according to Mayor Toby Tiangco.
This is to help people become used to the new guidelines once tougher lockdowns resume, which only allows Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) to go out for essentials.
“Para masanay na rin ang tao because pagdating ng ECQ period, talagang walang walk in dyan, because hindi pwedeng lumabas ng bahay unless APOR kayo, bibili kayo ng essentials o magpapabakuna," Tiangco explained.
(This is to help them get used to the restrictions during the ECQ period. No walk ins would be allowed unless they are APOR)
"Paano mapapatunayan ng tao na siya ay magpapabakuna? Dapat dala niya ‘yung confirmation na siya ay naka-schedule magpabakuna. Kasi kung hindi ganon, lahat nalang sasabihin magwa-walk in sila at hindi na natin mache-check yan,” according to the local chief executive.
(A person should bring with her a confirmation that they would be vaccinated for the day. If walk ins will be allowed without any confirmations, then everybody could just get in without being checked)
He is confident, however, that Navotas City would see more people immunized from the respiratory disease even under the ECQ period, as long as there are vaccine supplies.
Tiangco said his local government can vaccinate from 5,000 to 8,000 people daily.
“Hindi na po magiging problema ang pag-ramp up, kasi ang dami po talagang gustong magpabakuna. Para lang conservative yung ating estimates ay nilagay na lang natin sa 5,000," he added.
(Ramping up vaccinations will not be a problem because a lot of people want to get vaccinated. We can vaccinate a minimum of 5,000 people)
Philippine authorities earlier reiterated that the country's vaccination program would continue despite the reintroduction of the ECQ in the capital region, as the growth of infections continued amid the presence of the Delta variant.
Data collated by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed that the government has been able to administer 21.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Monday, 11.8 million are first doses.
Over 9.3 million, meanwhile, are fully immunized from the virus, accounting for 13.2 percent of the 70.8 million target by yearend.
- report from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News