Three areas in Metro Manila have opened their COVID-19 vaccination to other residents after achieving high vaccination coverage of their own residents.
This was confirmed by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos in a briefing on August 23.
Abalos stated that these areas are the cities of San Juan and Mandaluyong and the municipality of Pateros.
He cited San Juan and Pateros, in particular, had nearly fully vaccinated 100% of their population, which is quite smaller than in the rest of the cities in Metro Manila.
According to the last census in 2015, San Juan has about 122,000 residents while Pateros has 63,000. The numbers have reasonably gone up since then, but new census estimates are not yet officially available. Mandaluyong, meanwhile, had 386,000.
“The smallest is Pateros, San Juan and then Mandaluyong, so madali talagang makatapos. Ito po ay napag-agree-han na ng mga alkalde before ng Kalakhang Maynila. Alam ninyo sa Kalakhang Maynila, we act as one; we vote as one; and now we are going to vaccinate as one,” Abalos said.
The cities thus agreed to open their COVID-19 vaccination facilities to other people.
Those who wish to get their COVID-19 shots will have to register online first, citing QR codes provided online for convenience.
“Ito nakita ninyo, Pateros, Mandaluyong and San Juan, na iyong mga labas namin na hindi na residente ng LGU ay puwedeng magpabakuna, provided, number one, no walk ins at kailangan magpa-schedule sila. May mga nilagay kaming mga QR Code, puwedeng i-download po ito,” he said.
The social media accounts of Mandaluyong and Pateros have also posted guidelines on how to receive COVID-19 vaccines in their cities.
Both localities strictly require the public to register first via the QR codes in the posts and then wait to be notified of their schedules.
This process is to prevent overcrowding or congestion incidents in their COVID-19 vaccination sites.
“WE VAX AS ONE. Sa lahat po ng hindi taga-Mandaluyong, kung nais po ninyo na magpabakuna sa Mandaluyong, kinakailangang magrehistro sa MANDAVAX (www.mandaluyong.gov.ph/vaccine/),” read the post from Mandaluyong’s public information office.
“Hintayin po ang tawag o text mula sa Mandavax call center kung saan, kailan at anong oras kayo pupunta. hindi maaari ang walk-in,” it added.
Pateros, the sole municipality in the capital region, claims to have achieved herd immunity.
“Matapos nating maabot ang herd immunity sa first dose sa ating bayan ng Pateros at dahil sa ating hangarin na makatulong sa ating mga karatigbayan o syudad ay magsisimula po tayong tumanggap ng mga babakunahan mula sa ibang siyudad dito sa National Capital Region,” read the post.
While developments in these areas were cheered online, others hoped that they would distribute their COVID-19 vaccine supply to provinces outside of Metro Manila.
“Give more vaccines to provinces outside NCR,” one user said.
“If they have enough fully vaccinated people already, maybe redistribute the shots out of NCR already,” another user said.
Last week, the Iloilo City government also opened its COVID-19 vaccination initiative to the general public for one day only.