Bacolod halts walk-in vaccination in malls due to influx of crowd

Published July 28, 2021, 2:32 PM

by Glazyl Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has ordered to temporarily stop accommodating walk-ins in shopping malls here for vaccination against COVID-19, beginning July 27.

This, after many vaccinees flocked to shopping malls on Monday, which disregarded safe distancing protocols amid the pandemic.

City Administrator Em Ang, executive director of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said the delay on the arrival of additional Sinovac vaccines for the residents, who were supposed to have their second doses of the said vaccine since last week, could be a contributing factor in the influx of vaccinees.

Long queue of vaccinees waiting to be inoculated with 2nd dose of Sinovac vaccine at the first floor of the Ayala Malls Capitol Central in Bacolod City Monday. (Glazyl Masculino/MANILA BULLETIN)

Walk-ins were also allowed at the shopping malls for those who wanted to avail of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, per the advisory of the EOC last Sunday.

Long queues were spotted even before the shopping malls opened, as many people wanted to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Ang said that they tried to accommodate as many as possible, but there’s so many people.

Policemen and mall security were deployed but they were also overwhelmed by the crowd.

Ang said that 12,016 residents were inoculated on July 26.

At 12 noon, the vaccination centers at Ayala Malls Capitol Central, Robinsons Place, and SMX Convention Center have reached their maximum number of vaccinees for the day, based on the advisory of the COVID-19 Vaccination Council (CoVaC).

The CoVaC urged the public to wait to be notified of their schedule through text by the Vaccination Team. Vaccinees may also go to the barangay vaccination centers to avail of free COVID-19 vaccines.

Ang said the City is also planning to open two more vaccination centers in two shopping malls soon. At present, the city has 30 vaccination centers.

Despite this, Ang said they are very thankful because the vaccine acceptance among the Bacolodnons tremendously improved, adding that the city has already inoculated 120,000 vaccines, as of July 25.

In fact, Ang said that there’s a 50 percent drop in the number of COVID-19 deaths this month.

“Bacolodnons are raring to get vaccinated,” she added.