A health official on Tuesday said senior citizens could go directly to vaccination sites even without an appointment once Metro Manila is placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Walk-in shall not be allowed except for the A2 (senior citizens) group who are part of government’s priority because they are the most vulnerable. Police authorities are discerning enough to know that senior citizens are headed to vaccination hubs since they can’t go anywhere and most establishments are closed,” Health Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) chief Myrna Cabotaje said in an online briefing.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases directed the NVOC to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination even during ECQ.
“We have provided guidelines to areas under ECQ to adhere to strict scheduling and pre-registration. We want to be able to observe minimum public health standards and protocols in a bubble atmosphere to minimize the transmission,” Cabotaje said.
During the two-week ECQ, the NVOC’s strategic objective is to bring the vaccination services nearer to vaccine recipients. This includes quadrant or barangay zoning, use of mobile vaccination buses, deployment of mobile vaccination teams, and establishment of temporary post-vaccination sites.
Vaccination sites are expected to provide priority lanes for priority groups – senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.
“For the transportation, we have urged the local government units to provide transportation services both for vaccine recipients and vaccination workforce and points of pick-up shall be announced,” Cabotaje said.
She reminded the public to be ready with their quarantine pass or proof of vaccination schedule if they need to go out for inoculation during ECQ.
Ready to help
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it is prepared to extend any possible support to the government’s vaccination drive.
“We have our liaison to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force), no tasking yet from the IATF, but the AFP is prepared to provide the needed support to the ongoing National Vaccination Deployment Program,” AFP spokesperson, Col. Ramon Zagala said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.
Zagala’s remarks were echoed by AFP public affairs office chief Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata.
“Ready naman ang AFP (the AFP is ready) should the IATF request assistance on this,” he added.