The Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public to first secure an appointment before heading to the vaccination site to receive their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine.
DOH officials made the pronouncement amid reports that physical distancing was disregarded as vaccine recipients flocked to a mall in Parañaque City to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The different local government units must ensure to properly disseminate the vaccination process to their constituents, said DOH-National Capital Region (NCR) Director Dr. Gloria Balboa
“Kailangan muna kasi magparehistro online yung mga babakunahan. Tapos pag nakarehistro na ay tinetext po sila doon sa schedule nila (They first need to register online. After registering, they will be texted on when will be their schedule),” said Balboa during the Laging Handa press briefing on Tuesday, May 18.
“Sana po ay hindi na maulit iyon at kailangan maimprove yung ating communication sa publiko na talagang hintayin po yung kanilang schedule for vaccination (I hope it does not happen again. We need to improve our communication with the public— to really wait for their schedule for vaccination),” she said.
Setting up an appointment would help in avoiding large crowds in a vaccination area, said Dr. Alethea De Guzman, officer-in-charge of DOH Epidemiology Bureau.
“Maganda may appointment para alam mo ikaw ba talaga yung babakunahan, para din yung ating kailangan bakunahan, especially our senior citizens—-hindi sila nag-iintay ng matagal (It’s good to have an appointment so you know if you’re really the one to be vaccinated. Also, for those of us who need to be vaccinated immediately, especially our senior citizens —- they don’t wait long),” said De Guzman in a separate press briefing on Tuesday.
Balboa, however, said that the incident also showed that the public now has more confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines.
“Kami naman ay natutuwa. Nakikita natin na tumaas na nga yung vaccine confidence ng ating mga kababayan kasi talagang dagsaan sila. Pero sana hindi lang mai-relate sa kung anong klaseng bakuna (We are delighted. We can see that the vaccine confidence of our countrymen has increased because they are really (participating in the vaccination). But I hope it will not be related to what kind of vaccine),” she said.
Balboa said that all vaccine brands are effective against COVID-19.
“Kung ano po ang available na nandyan–that is the best vaccine that you can have. Dumaan po lahat iyan sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Huwag na po tayo lahat mamimili. Importante ay merong maibakuna sa atin (What is currently available—that is the best vaccine that you can have. It all went through the FDA. Let’s not choose. It is important that we get vaccinated),” she said.