Gov't begins pilot run of COVID-19 vaccine drive in Metro Manila pharmacies

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Gov't begins pilot run of COVID-19 vaccine drive in Metro Manila pharmacies
People queue to receive COVID-19 vaccine at a drugstore along Bayan-Bayan Ave. in Marikina City during the pilot implementation of the government’s “Resbakuna sa mga Botika” program on Jan. 20, 2022.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — Pharmacies in Metro Manila began offering COVID-19 booster shots on Thursday in a bid to make life-saving jabs accessible to more people.

Five pharmacies joined the pilot implementation of the program, which will be expanded to other drug stores in the country, officials said. 

People aged 18 and above, except for senior citizens and people with comorbidities, can get their booster shots in pharmacies.

“With strategically located pharmacies in malls and commercial districts all throughout the country, Filipinos aged 18 and above, particularly those belonging to A4 category (economic frontliners), would be more encouraged to get booster shots and get their extra layer of protection versus the deadly virus,” vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said.

People can get vaccinated in any of the following pilot pharmacies:

  • Generika: Lot 23 Blk. 306 Zone 6, #138 Colonel Ballecer St., Zone 6, Signal Village in Taguig City
  • Mercury Drug: 899 Pres. Quirino Avenue corner Leon Guinto, Brgy. 692, Zone 75 in City of Manila
  • Southstar: Bayan-Bayanan Ave., Barangay Concepcion Uno in Marikina City
  • The Generics Pharmacy: Edison St., Sun Valley in Paranaque City
  • Watsons: SM Supercenter Pasig, Frontera Drive, Ortigas in Pasig City

According to authorities, Filipinos can get their booster shots if it has been three months since their second dose of AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac and Sputnik V vaccines.

Recipients of one-shot Janssen jab can get their boosters at least two months after their first dose.

The Department of Health said people only need to present their vaccination card and a valid identification card. Walk-ins without registration are not allowed for the pilot run.

Clinics such as Healthway and QualiMed Health Network will also offer booster shots in the pilot implementation of the program.

Pharmacies in other countries have been giving COVID-19 jabs since vaccines became available over a year ago.

“Our vaccine supply stabilized only in October last year and unlike rich countries that have a lot of vaccines, we have to wait. That’s why we were not able to expand our vaccination program then,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in Filipino.

The national government will provide vaccine doses and syringes to pharmacies and clinics as well as training of personnel, Duque also said.

Since March 2021, only 56.4 million people have completed vaccination against COVID-19, while 59.4 million have received partial protection.

The government is targeting to give 72.16 million booster doses this year, but it has so far administered only 5.6 million shots.




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