Manila city health office apologizes for limited Pfizer jab allocation on last day of rollout

Published May 19, 2021, 9:57 AM

by Noreen Jazul

The Manila City Health Office has apologized to those who lined up but were not able to receive their Pfizer vaccine during the last day of rollout yesterday (May 18).

Residents wait in line to be inoculated at Manila Prince Hotel on Tuesday. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Kami po ay humihingi ng paumanhin sa kanila sa nangyari kahapon sapagkat limited lamang po ang allocation na binibigay sa amin (We would like to apologize for what happened yesterday. It’s really because the allocation given to us is limited),” Dr. Arnold Pangan, chief of the Manila City Health Office, told DZMM Teleradyo in an interview.

Pangan, however, said the local government of Manila made it clear on Monday (May 17) that the city only has 900 doses of Pfizer left.

“Si Yorme po ay nag report po ‘yan, ini-specify po niya kung sino ang mga priority na dapat bakunahan. Nakasulat sa report niya kung ilan lang po ang numero o dosage na pwedeng ibigay sa pagbabakuna sa araw na ‘yon (Mayor Isko reported on this. He specified which priority groups will be given the vaccine. It was also included in his report the number or dosage that will be allotted for that day of vaccination),” he said.

The city health officer said around 1,600 to 1,800 lined up at the Manila Prince Hotel on Tuesday to get their Pfizer vaccine.

Since all of those who lined up were already pre-registered for vaccination, the city health office followed a first-come, first-served basis, according to Pangan.

Pangan said there were people who lined up as early as 12:30 a.m. and by 5:30 a.m. all slots for the remaining Pfizer vaccines were already taken.

“Nakita po natin na ‘yung mga kababayan po natin talagang inabangan po nila itong Pfizer na ito (We saw that our citizens really waited for Pfizer),” he said.

Pangan also explained that the city only rolled out around 3,500 out of the 7,020 doses of Pfizer doses it received because the other half was set aside for the second dose.

He added that the second dose of Pfizer vaccine must be given 21 days after the second dose.

He said the local government of Manila is hoping that the Department of Health will give them additional allocation of Pfizer and other vaccines.

Manila has rolled out all of its AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and Pfizer vaccines, while only “limited” doses of Sinovac remain.