The government will tap seven pharmaceutical stores and private clinics in the National Capital Region (NCR) to expand the Covid-19 booster vaccination program.
The initiative will address the shortage of vaccinators as the government targets at least 90 million for full vaccination by mid-year.
Select Metro Manila branches of Mercury Drug, Watsons, The Generics Pharmacy, Generika, South Star Drug, QualiMed, and Healthway will begin administering booster doses on January 21 and will prioritize economic front-liners of the private sector.
“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,” National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said during the taped public address of President Rodrigo Duterte aired late Monday night.
The rollout will expand to other cities outside NCR and to other regions based on readiness and safety inspections, Galvez added.
“This is our way forward to hand over the responsibility of the vaccination from the national government to local government units and the private sector in preparation for the future commercialization of the vaccine,” Galvez said.
The Philippines has so far administered 119,746,232 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine nationwide, with 59,031,437 doses used as first shots, 55,583,592 as second shots, and 5,131,203 as booster or additional shots. (PNA)