LGUs, mall owners ready for 3-day national vaccine drive

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 28) — Some local government units and mall owners said they are ready for the three-day national vaccination drive called the Bayanihan Bakunahan which starts on Monday.

According to National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr., they are eyeing to vaccinate nine million Filipinos in the next three days.

Included in the program are people who have yet to be vaccinated, inoculations for the pediatric group, and booster shots for healthcare frontliners, senior citizens, and the immunocompromised.

“To be realistic gawin naming three million ‘yung aming mga target for the purpose na nakita natin na kinulang din ng syringes ‘yung mga ibang mga Pfizer vaccines na dine-deploy sa ibang mga lugar,” says Galvez.

[Translation: We lowered our target three million per day to be more realistic since we have a shortage in syringes, especially for the Pfizer vaccines that were deployed in other areas.]

The Quezon City local government said it has enough vaccine supplies for the event. It will even be sending some of its medical teams to assist in inoculation in the provinces.

“The QC government will be sending two teams to Cabanatuan and Jaen, Nueva Ecija to assist them in their implementation of the 3-day vaccination program. The teams shall be composed of doctors, nurses, and allied medical workers,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte.

Meanwhile, San Juan City is targeting to administer shots to more than 6,000 people in the next three days.

“We were able to vaccinate naman around three thousand before kaya lang ‘yun ‘yung general population kaya mas marami sila. Dito naman sa seniors and immunocompromised, medyo limited lang ang bilang na ito because there are certain prioritizations that DOH is giving to us,” said Mayor Francis Zamora.

[Translation: We were able to vaccinate three thousand before, but that was for the general population, so there were more of them to vaccinate. This time, we will be administering doses to seniors and the immunocompromised, so it would be a little limited because there are certain prioritizations that DOH is giving to us.]

Two provincial governors in the CALABARZON region said they are ready for the national vaccination drive.

Quezon Governor Danilo Suarez told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Weekend they have vaccinated on Saturday 800 persons.

Suarez added they intent to vaccinate over 37,000 against COVID-19 in the province, as they continue their efforts in encouraging residents to be inoculated regardless of vaccine brand.

Batangas Governor Dodo Mandanas, meanwhile, said the province has three mobile vaccination units and renovated clinics in schools and colleges, to aid their inoculation drive and meet their target to vaccinate over 53,000 residents.

Mandanas said they have enough vaccine and syringe supply in the province, adding that they have incentivized their vaccination, while giving out food packs to medical frontliners.

"Hindi kami tumitigil. Nadadagdagan lang ang aming mga facilities [We are not slowing down. Our facilities for vaccination continue to increase]," Mandanas told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Weekend.

Mall owners say said they have been closely coordinating with their respective LGUs about the vaccination drive.

SM Supermalls president Steven Tan said 66 of their malls are participating in the event and have made these preparations:

1. Coordinate with respective LGU/CHO on the daily target number of vaccinees to be inoculated in the mall.

2. Prepare set up based on classification requirements for general adult, pediatric and boosters.

3. Deploy proper directional signages and safety protocol reminders.

4. Align with LGU on the management of lines in and outside of the mall including proper manpower deployment.

5. Endorse our volunteers (from NU) to CHO.

6. Support project awareness through social media.

Other malls see no problem in lending their spaces for the activity since it has been done successfully before.

“Eastwood City and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls will implement heightened health and safety protocols. We will utilize the most convenient venue inside our mall for the vaccination activity and also convert our open spaces as waiting areas to ensure their comfort,” said Ritchie Pascual, Eastwood City deputy general manager.

According to data from the Health department, 35,557,409 Filipinos have received two doses or have completed their vaccines as of Nov. 27.

The government plans to expand the number significantly by the end of the year by launching the national vaccine drive in 17 regions.

The “second wave” of the Bayanihan Bakunahan will be held from Dec. 15 to 17.