In its bid to further ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in the Philippines, SM Supermalls joined the government’s endeavor to inoculate 9 million Filipinos nationwide, starting Nov. 29 until Dec. 1.
Dubbed Bayanihan Bakunahan, the three-day vaccination drive’s ceremonial launch at SM City Masinag was attended by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte; Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force against Coronavirus Disease-2019 (NTF COVID-19) chief implementer; Health Secretary Francisco Duque III; Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Chair, Senate Committee on Health and Demography;
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzena; Rizal Governor Rebecca “Nini” Ynares; SM Supermalls President Steven T. Tan; members of the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force; Cabinet Secretaries; and partners from the private and public sectors.
Bayanihan Bakunahan is a collaborative effort of the government, led by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in cooperation with the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, together with various communities and private organizations.
“This multi-sectoral event is a resounding expression of our Bayanihan spirit, which coincides with the nation’s observance of Bonifacio Day on November 30. The heroic example of Gat Andres Bonifacio’s courage resonates in each of us as we work together to fast-track and intensify our efforts to overcome this pandemic,” said President Duterte in a speech.
Bayanihan Bakunahan was rolled out nationwide to increase the country’s coverage of the first dose to 70% as well as to increase the booster jabs across 16 regions outside Metro Manila. The second wave of the vaccination drive was slated on Dec. 15 to 17.
“The concept of Bayanihan Bakunahan is that you and I, we’re both heroes. And we can be heroes if we vaccinate ourselves against COVID-19, not only for ourselves and our families but also for the people around us,” said Ma. Florinda Princess E. Duque, Director IV, Bureau of Communications Services.
During the event, the government mentioned that the Philippines is expecting to vaccinate 54 million Filipinos by the end of the year including 80 percent of minors aged 12 to 17 years old. President Duterte also said that the government seeks to complete booster shots of fully-vaccinated seniors, health workers and people with comorbidities by the end of 2021. As of November, over 35 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the government has also assured that there’s enough supply for the three-day vaccination drive. “It is safe to say that we have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for the National Vaccination Days. The national government is continuously working with the local government in terms of vaccine supply. Also, preparations have been done beforehand so that we can reach our goal of inoculating 3 million individuals per day,” said Communications Director Duque.
Under the collaboration, SM Supermalls, along with over 8,000 vaccination sites, will be opened to accommodate the target population. To date, SM Supermalls has already administered 6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines in over 71 malls around the country, of that number 200,000 are children aged 12 to 17 years old inoculated at 45 malls.
“We at SM Supermalls have always believed that getting vaccinated is the best defense Filipinos have against the COVID-19 virus. In the past months of working together with the government, we have achieved great things. We thank the government for the opportunity to serve the country and our fellow Filipinos as we open more convenient and accessible mall vaccination sites nationwide,” said Steven Tan, President of SM Supermalls.
Apart from opening 66 mall vaccination sites, SM Supermalls also announced the participation of the National University in this endeavor. Over 500 alumni, employees, and students from the said university have registered to volunteer during the Bayanihan Bakunahan.
During the three-day Bayanihan Bakunahan event, Filipinos can walk in and register at the identified sites. For adults who want to get vaccinated, they are required to bring a government-issued ID and a medical certificate for those who have comorbidities. Pregnant and lactating mothers are also encouraged to get immunization shots.
For kids aged 12 to 17 years old, the parent/guardian should secure the following: any valid ID of the parent/guardian as well as a birth certificate, baptismal, or passport of the child. For children with health risks, parents/guardians are advised to get a medical certificate from their child’s attending pediatrician or physician showing that the child is eligible for vaccination. If both parents are not available during the vaccination day, an authorization letter signed by parents indicating the name of the assigned guardian with a valid ID will be needed.
And for those who have been vaccinated, booster shots will only be administered to those who had their 2nd dose for at least 6 months. Individuals who will avail of the booster shot should present a copy of their vaccination card. Apart from that, vaccinated individuals are also encouraged to volunteer in their respective LGUs and to rally behind the government to be vaccine advocates in their communities.
“Let us be heroes in this fight against COVID-19. Get vaccinated, volunteer, and encourage your families, friends, workplaces, and communities to get jabbed. Let us all strive to make this Christmas safer and better for the people we value most. Because it is only through our collective will to put an end to this crisis will we be able to build back better for a brighter future,” Tan closed.
For more information and up-to-date news on vaccination schedules at the SM malls in your LGU, follow @smsupermalls on all social media platforms.