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Vaccinees overwhelm Zamboanga vax sites

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Thousands of residents wanting to be vaccinated against COVID flocked to different inoculation sites in Zamboanga peninsula during the start of the three-day National Vaccination Day program yesterday.

Regional health officials said throngs of people started to arrive at the centers at dawn, hoping to be the first in line as more vaccinees were expected to turn up.

The Zamboanga regional health office expressed confidence it would achieve its target with the unexpected turnout of vaccinees, said Augusto Manolo Alpichi, regional health office assistant director.

The region is targeting to vaccinate 691,014 people within three days or based on the available doses of vaccines provided by the Department of Health central office for the three-day activity, Alpichi said.

He said volunteers as well as police and military personnel are securing the vaccination sites.

Alpichi said the increasing interest for vaccination is the result of a campaign to erase the negative notions about the effects of the vaccine.

In Zamboanga City, most of those who received the vaccine said they wanted to go out in public places.

Others said they decided to take the jab so they could return to work or find a job.

The city, which is under Alert Level 3, allows fully vaccinated people in places or venues included in bubble areas by tourism officers.

Meanwhile, the same situation was observed in Baguio City during the first day of the “Bayanihan Bakunahan.”

Adults set to receive the first dose of the vaccine patiently waited for their turn at barangay vaccination centers as well as in malls and hospitals.

The city’s three vaccination sites – Baguio Country Club, SM and St. Louis University –  were at full capacity as vaccinees started to arrive early.

Students attended their online classes or answered their modules while waiting in line to be vaccinated.

According to the city government, 95 percent of Baguio’s adult population are vaccinated while the pediatric category is at 56 percent.

Meanwhile, in Benguet, Gov.Melchor Diclas and Cordillera assistant regional health director Amelita Pangilinan led the launch of the three-day national vaccination program at the La Trinidad public market along Kilometer 5 in the capital town.

Benguet is targeting to vaccinate more than 79,000 people during the three-day event.

The Benguet health office it is taking advantage of the three-day immunization program to achieve its target to vaccinate 70 percent of the eligible population.— Artemio Dumlao

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