MANILA – Hundreds flocked to vaccination sites in Metro Manila and nearby areas to get their shot against the novel coronavirus, ahead of the imposition of tighter lockdowns to curb the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
But many were left disappointed and sent home after jab centers reached the limit for the available slots.
In the City of Manila, walk-ins were no longer accepted at 3 of its mall vaccination sites after the number of people getting their first shots in the sites reached 3,500.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has postponed his planned oath-taking with Aksyon Demokratiko to address the "chaos" at the jab sites in Manila.
In the vaccination site at SM San Lazaro, vaccinations were cancelled entirely for the public's safety and security after thousands turned up hoping to get inoculated.
In a statement, the Manila Public Information Office said that crowds flocked to the vaccination sites because word spread that the unvaccinated won’t be allowed out of their homes when enhanced community quarantine is implemented in Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, in Las Pinas, people waiting to get vaccinated ran towards Las Piñas Doctors Hospital in J. Aguilar Avenue as it opened around 7 am.
City spokesperson Paul San Miguel said they received reports people flocked to the sites despite curfew after hearing “No vaccine, no ayuda (gov’t financial assistance)”. He has clarified that this is not true.
The Las Piñas City government also stopped vaccinations for Thursday, August 5 at the jab sites in SM Southmall & Las Piñas Doctors Hospital.
Vaccine recipients also fell in line at a mall in Antipolo City, hoping to receive the jab.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte said barangay officials should monitor the vaccination status in their areas and bar unvaccinated people from going outside their houses.
Duterte said police can escort unvaccinated people back to their homes if they are seen outside, although he did not say how those who are not immunized would be identified.
"Ito ngayong ayaw magpabakuna, sinasabi ko sa inyo, huwag kayong lumabas ng bahay. Kasi kapag lumabas kayo ng bahay, sabihin ko sa mga pulis, eh ibalik ka doon sa bahay mo. You will be escorted back to your house because you are a walking spreader," the president said in a recorded public address aired July 29.
Philippines has fully immunized at least 10 million individuals against COVID, Malacañang said on Thursday.