Despite crowding complaints, residents told to follow vaccination protocol in Manila hotel

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 18) — The local government of Manila urged its residents who were "excited" to get the jabs from US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer to patiently wait for their turn and follow the system in place to keep the city's vaccine drive orderly.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source on Tuesday, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso addressed the complaints of some people who reportedly failed to get their doses due to an alleged lack of system in the LGU's inoculation drive at the Manila Prince Hotel in Ermita, the 19th vaccination site in the city.

"Excited sila dahil Pfizer (They were excited because it's Pfizer)," said Domagoso, noting that only 900 Pfizer doses were allotted for Manila.

However, according to initial reports on social media, up to 3,000 residents within the A1 to A3 groups (health workers, senior citizens, and people with comorbidities) lined up at the venue.

"They have to state what system is missing because there is a line, there is a chair, there is a space for waiting, and there is a space for vaccination," Domagoso said.

"They have to teach us what to do if they know better than us and those who are not happy, please share it to us because it’s a very comfortable area so far. Ang talo mo lang talaga ay init (The only downside is you have to endure the heat)," he added. "If you cannot wait for your turn, I’m sorry for you."

Domagoso admitted that while there have been some "prejudice" against other vaccines as shown by the incident, the best type of vaccine is still the one that is available.

He added that people also have an option to go to the 18 other vaccination sites in the city. Walk-ins are also allowed in the vaccination sites to prevent wastage, he said.

"Ang ginawa namin niyayakap ang lahat, meron lang setback sa ganung approach," the mayor noted. "Dumadami lang ang tao, but that is a good problem."

[Translation: We welcome everyone, there's just a setback with that kind of approach. More people may come but that is a good problem.]

Gloria Balboa, director of DOH National Capital Region, said that approach has shown a higher vaccine confidence among people, but she assured that the other brands available in the country are just as effective.

"Sana hindi lang siya mai-relate dun lang sa kung anong klase ng bakuna kagaya ngayon, iyong Pfizer kasi lahat naman po ng ating bakuna — apat na klase na po ang available sa atin — iyong Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and then yun Gamaleya [Sputnik]...saka iyong Pfizer," she pointed out.

[Translation: We hope that they will not just depend on one type of vaccine like Pfizer because all brands — we have four types that are now available — Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Gamaleya and Pfizer.]

The Manila Public Information Office reported that the LGU vaccinated over 15,700 residents on Monday alone. Of this number of administered doses, over 14,000 came from Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech, followed by more than 1,000 doses from Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca and 36 doses from Pfizer.