The government will start rolling out COVID-19 vaccines in seven pharmacies in the National Capital Region (NCR) on January 20 to 21 to allow them to administer the shots amid the COVID-19 surge in the country.
During the second part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People aired Tuesday morning, Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon of the National Task Force Against (NTF) COVID-19 said this program dubbed as “Resbakuna sa mga Botika” will pave the way for smaller but more widely spread vaccination sites in the form of the pharmacies.
“Mabilis po ito, Mr. President. Pagka-launch natin at magpi-pilot sila ng mga isang linggo, mage-expand na tayo nang mabilis sa iba’t iba pang cities all over the country—Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao—at sa iba’t ibang botika,” Dizon said.
(This will be fast, Mr. President. After we launch, the pharmacies will pilot run for about a week, then we will expand in other cities all over the country, and other drugstores.)
Dizon said the NTF has coordinated with pharmacies such as Mercury Drug, Watsons, Rose Pharmacy, Southstar Drug, and Generika Drugstore, and other more clinics like Healthway and QualiMed.
The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that the following pharmacies and clinics in Metro Manila will be participating in this initiative:
- Mercury Drug in Pres. Quirino Avenue, Malate, Manila
- Southstar Drug in Marikina
- Watsons in SM Supercenter Pasig
- Generika Drugstore in Signal 1, Taguig
- The Generics Pharmacy in Edison St. Sun Valley, Parañaque
- QualiMed Clinic in McKinley Road, Makati
- Healthway in Manila
NTF medical adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa on Sunday said they were in talks with private pharmacies and drugstores to allow them to administer vaccines amid the increasing COVID-19 infections which is believed to be driven by the Omicron variant.
Herbosa said the government has tapped the private sector to help with the vaccination drive as there has been a lack of vaccinators to accommodate those who have yet to receive their primary jab doses or booster shots.
He explained that since many healthcare workers in hospitals are getting infected with COVID-19, several vaccinators had to go back and help in hospitals.
“This will greatly assist our local government units and the DOH para dagdag po itong personnel para magbakuna. At the same time, ma-de-decentralize pa natin more ang ating bakunahan instead of just being focused on big vaccination sites,” Dizon said.
(This will greatly assist our local government units and the DOH to add more personnel to vaccinate. At the same time, we can decentralize our vaccinations more instead of just being focused on big vaccination sites.)
Based on DOH’s national COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 59,031,437 individuals have already received their first dose against COVID-19 as of Monday.
Of this number, 55,583,592 have completed their doses, while 5,131,203 have received their booster shots after reaching the three to six-month requirement.
The Philippines on Monday registered 3,242,374 total COVID-19 infections, with 37,070 additional cases. — RSJ, GMA News