Antipolo halts walk-ins at COVID-19 vaccination sites due to huge crowds

August 6, 2021 - 5:27 PM
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At SM Masinag in Antipolo
Individuals hoping to get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine flock to a mall in Antipolo City on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (The STAR/Michael Varcas)

The city government of Antipolo temporarily stopped its walk-in vaccination system after huge crowds flocked to local sites in malls on Thursday, August 5 hoping to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Several online users shared clips of people seeking to be inoculated against the virus.

In an advisory posted on Facebook, Antipolo Mayor Andrea Ynares warned residents about the false social media rumor that unvaccinated residents would not be allowed to go out or work and receive financial aid or ayuda during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The Department of the Interior and Local Government also refuted the circulating rumor.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief Benhur Abalos has urged the National Bureau of Investigation to go after the source of the false information and hold them accountable.

President Rodrigo Duterte, however, had warned those who refuse to be vaccinated that they will not be allowed to go outside their houses.

“If you go out of your houses, I will tell the police to bring you back. You’ll be escorted back to your houses because you are a walking spreader,” Duterte said in a public address last Wednesday night.

Lack of vaccines

In June, Antipolo City similarly halted the distribution of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines due to an insufficient supply.

Antipolo City then only resumed its vaccination program on July 13, giving priority to A1 to A4 categories and those who have had their schedules confirmed by the vaccination operation center.

While Ynares was pleased to learn that there was a huge turnout, she encouraged residents to register for vaccination through the city’s website.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday said 9,825,466, or 9.01% of the country’s population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Rizal was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine, the second strictest pandemic restriction category, from Aug. 6 to 15, 2021.