Aiming to ramp up the administration of Covid-19 vaccines in the country, the government will soon make doses available in select Metro Manila pharmacies and clinics, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

Galvez said the pilot distribution would start on Jan. 21.

“[A]tin pong sisimulan ang way of the future vaccination to address our shortage of vaccinators. This strategy is now being practiced in the US and globally—the use of big pharmacies and private sector clinics and the use of our pharmacist as vaccinator,” he said in a report to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Galvez said the first stage of the pilot would prioritize booster shots.

He added that the move would prepare the country for the eventual commercialization of Covid-19 vaccines.

“This is our way forward to hand over the responsibility of the vaccination from the national government-centered to its complete devolution to the local government units and the private sector,” Galvez said.

  • The pharmacies and private clinics to participate in the pilot are as follows:
  • 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 Parañaque Branch
  • QualiMed McKinley

In a virtual presser, acting Palace spokesman Karlo Nograles said vaccination in these pharmacies and clinics was by appointment.

“Kailangan by appointment po, kaya nga may pre-registration. Again, this is only for pilot, iyong seven na nagpa-participate is undergoing the pilot. And then as we go along, we will tweak and perfect it accordingly, depending on learnings natin habang we are piloting the Bakuna sa Botika,” he said.

About 50-100 doses will be made available daily in these sites, Nograles added.

The Philippines has administered 119,746,232 Covid-19 vaccine doses to date. John Ezekiel J. Hirro