Bright idea? Palace trumpets 'botika-based' booster shot drive

Published January 18, 2022, 4:36 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

A total of seven pharmacies and private clinics will take part in the pilot implementation of the “Resbakuna sa Botika” drive, which aims to make booster shots against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) an easy proposition for Filipinos.

(Hakan Nural/ Unsplash)

“Malugod kong binabalita na papaigtingin pa natin ang pagbabakuna at lalo nating ilalapit ang vaccination sites sa ating mga kababayan (I’m happy to announce the intensification of our vaccination drive and bringing vaccination sites closer to our countrymen),” Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in a virtual press conference Tuesday, Jan. 18.

He said the Resbakuna sa Botika, which he described as an important part of the broader “Bayanihan Bakunahan” campaign, will be launched on Thursday, Jan. 20.

He said the pilot implementation of the drive will cover the administration of booster shots to those who have completed their primary series or two doses of vaccines or the single dose Janssen vaccine.

Nograles, who serves as spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), identified the participating pharmacies and private clinics as Healthway Manila Clinic, Mercury Drug Manila Malate President Quirino Branch, Southstar SSD Marikina Branch, Watsons SM Supercenter Pasig, Generika Signal 1 Branch in Taguig, TGP Paranaque Branch, and QualiMed McKinley.

He underscored that the booster shots will be given free of charge, although interested individuals will need to pre-register. No walk-ins will be accepted at the seven locations.

Each pharmacy or clinic will be allocated some 500 doses per week, good for 50 to 100 doses per day. That means the total weekly allocation of vaccines will be 3,500.

“Again, it is only a pilot for one week muna but obviously kung successful yan (if that is successful), if going on and on, increasing the pilot sites and then increasing the doses allocated kung (if) needed, and then hopefully with the success of the pilot implementation we can expand it also to outside NCR [National Capital Region],” said Nograles.

He noted that the registration, documentation, administration of booster shot, and ancillary services will be handled by the respective local government units (LGUs) of the seven locations.

Meanwhile, the pharmacy or private clinic will oversee the vaccine administration, Nograles said.

As of Jan. 16, 2022, a total of 118,944,889 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country. This puts the Philippines in 18th place globally among 205 countries in terms of total doses administered, 11th in Asia out of 47 countries, and third in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN.

Of the total number of people who have been vaccinated, 63.8 million individuals have received their first dose, while more than 55.1 million are fully vaccinated.

In the same press conference, Nograles said the government’s target of fully vaccinating 77 million individuals by the end of the first quarter of the year would have a big implication on the upcoming May 9, 2022 elections.