Gov't mulls allowing walk-ins for 2nd 'Bayanihan, Bakunahan' vax drive

Published December 5, 2021, 2:10 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said that the government’s pandemic task force is looking at ways to improve the systems at vaccination sites, including accommodating walk-ins, as they gear up for the next simultaneous inoculation drive against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) this month.

(Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made the statement as the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases gears up for the second round of the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” program on December 15 to 17.

In an interview with Super Radyo DZBB, Nograles said one of the things the IATF is considering is to accept walk-in vaccinees, noting that there are a number of these patients in the different local government units (LGUs).

“Siguro isa sa mga nakikita natin na puwede pa improve is doon sa mga walk-ins dahil siyempre sa kanya-kanyang mga LGUs may mga walk-ins na kailangan ma-accommodate natin (Perhaps one of the things we can improve is the system for walk-ins because we need to accommodate the walk-ins in every LGU),” he said.

“Pakiusap lang namin magkaroon ng sistema for walk-ins (We ask LGUs to have a system for walk-ins),” he added.

Nograles, who serves as the co-chair and spokesman of the IATF, said the task force is planning to hold the second round of the nationwide simultaneous vaccination dive in an attempt to reach the target of vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by the end of 2021.

The government had the first Bayanihan, Bakunahan program from November 29 to December 1 but failed to reach its target of 9 million vaccinations. The drive was extended until December 3 and was able to inoculate 9.9 million individuals.

According to the acting Palace spokesman, the task force is yet to set a new target for the second Bayanihan, Bakunahan drive.

Meanwhile, Nograles reiterated that all COVID-19 vaccines available in the country are safe.

“Meron pa rin brand preference ang ating mga kababayan (There is still brand preference among our fellowmen),” he noted.

“Kailangan paulit-ulit nating banggitin at i-remind ang lahat na wala na dapat ang brand preference. Kung anong meron diyan, lahat ng mga vaccines natin ay safe and effective para sa lahat (We need to repeatedly remind the public that there should be no brand preference. All vaccines are safe and effective for all),” he added.

With the threat of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, Nograles on Friday urged Filipinos anew to get vaccinated, saying there has not been any recorded death that was linked to any of the vaccines.

As of December 2, 2021, a total of 37,353,438 Filipinos have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Based on the same data, 432,901 booster doses have been administered to those who got their last vaccination at least six months ago.