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Manila expands booster vaccination campaign

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In an effort to combat the post-holiday coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surge, the City of Manila has aggressively pushed its COVID-19 vaccination drive even to non-residents of the city, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

Since Wednesday, Jan. 5, the city government has launched three different booster vaccination campaigns open to both residents and non-residents.

As of Monday, Jan. 10, about 5,297 delivery riders, Divisoria market workers, motorists, and cyclists have received their booster shots, according to reports from the Manila Public Information Office.

From Wednesday, Jan. 5 to Thursday, Jan. 6, a total of 1,242 Divisoria market workers received their booster shots during the nighttime vaccination programs at the Divisoria market along Claro M. Recto Avenue in Tondo, Manila.

About 520 market workers were vaccinated on Jan. 5 and 722 more were vaccinated on Jan. 6.

From Thursday, Jan. 6 to Friday, Jan. 7, Manila also conducted a drive-thru booster vaccination campaign at the Bonifacio Shrine beside the Manila City Hall for all delivery riders of services such as Grab, Angkas, Lalamove, Shopee, Mr. Speedy, FoodPanda, and Lazada.

Over the course of the next two days, around 1,782 delivery riders received their booster shots — 820 on Jan. 6, and 962 on Jan. 7.

Ramon Suarez, a delivery rider for Grab based in Paranaque City, was one of those who wanted to avail of the free booster shot.

“Nakakatuwa din kasi as a delivery rider, syempre kailangan din namin ng proteksyon kasi kami yung laging nasa labas, kami yung nakikisalamuha sa iba’t ibang tao so nakatuwa na may ganun na libre na booster (It’s good for us delivery riders because we need protection as we are the ones who are always outside and interacting with people),” said Suarez.

He added that many other delivery riders were made aware of Manila’s vaccination program through delivery rider social media groups and that many of them wanted to avail of it.

However, despite already being fully vaccinated, Suarez was unable to find the time to commute to Manila for the booster vaccination due to the distance.

“For now hindi pa po ako nakapag-avail, pero siguro kung may mas malapit, pwede. Ang problema lang po kasi medyo malayo (For now, I haven’t been able to get the booster shot, if it were nearer, then I would. The problem is that it’s too far),” said Suarez.

“For now, wala pa kasi ako nababalitaan sa mga kaibigan ko na nagpa-booster (None of my friends have received their booster shots),” he added.

On Saturday, Jan. 8, the city government launched another drive-thru booster vaccination program at the Bonifacio Shrine beside the Manila City Hall for two-wheel motorists and cyclists that it opened to the general population.

As of this writing, around 1,073 motorists and cyclists were administered booster shots on Jan. 8, and 1,200 more were vaccinated on Jan. 9, according to Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso during a Facebook livestream.

The booster campaign for two-wheel motorists and cyclists was extended until Monday, Jan. 10, from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m.


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