False info made 10,000 people line up for Manila vaccination, says LGU

August 5, 2021 - 5:53 PM
vaccination queue Manila
Residents from within and outside Manila City queue early in the morning of Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 after receiving false information online that unvaccinated individuals will not be given quarantine passes outside their homes during the Metro Manila-wide lockdown starting August 6. (Manila PIO photo)

There were long queues and a larger-than-expected crowd at Manila vaccination sites early this Thursday morning, August 5, partly due to a false social media rumor that “no vaccine, no quarantine pass” will be implemented within the two-week region-wide lockdown which starts tomorrow.

Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan confirmed that SM San Lazaro, a regular vaccination site in Manila, had to cancel the scheduled COVID-19 first dose vaccinations at past 6 a.m. to ensure the safety and security of individuals who lined up and crowded at the sites.

“Ang sabi nga ng mga nainterview doon, ‘Natatakot sila dahil may kumalat na balita na hindi sila papayagan lumabas kung wala silang bakuna’,” Lacuna-Pangan said in an interview.

Other vaccination sites such as Lucky Chinatown Mall, Robinsons Place Manila, at SM reached had already reached their cutoff at around 5 a.m.

“Kami rin po nagtataka kung bakit nagdagsaan ang mga tao, particularly po sa SM San Lazaro… at karamihan po sa mga pumunta doon ay hindi po mga taga Maynila…at walang mga QR code,” Lacuna-Pangan said in a separate interview with dzMM Teleradyo.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) denied the rumor Thursday.

“There will be no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals” in terms of going out of their homes, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

READ: No distinction between vaccinated, unvaxxed individuals – DOH

In a Facebook post yesterday, the Manila Public Information Office said vaccination staff would accept walk-ins that belong to A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 priority groups.

Pangan had also said Manila has an “open policy,”  which means even non-residents of Manila can receive the jabs.

“As much as possible gusto namin yakapin ang lahat para mabakunahan, taga-Maynila man o hindi,” she said.

The Manila Police District reported there were individuals from the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal at Bulacan who “came in groups and vans” and started queuing as early as 2 a.m.

There were only 2,500 doses of vaccine allotted to each site but the crowds queuing at SM San Lazaro numbered 7,000 to 10,000 individuals while SM Manila had around 5,000.  Around 3,000 people lined up at Lucky Chinatown Mall while 4,000 were at Robinsons Manila.

Manila gov’t urged to fix the system

Filipinos on social media expressed their disappointment over what they saw as a poor inoculation system in the capital city. Some of them called on the Manila government to bring back the scheduling process.

“I have aired my grievances when it comes to the harmful system of isko’s vaccination plan in Manila. Laging ganyan in every vaccination site people!! Isko is putting manileños in danger every time!” an online user wrote.

“This has been happening since April even during the habagat season. They refuse to fix their appointment system and insist on walk-ins even from non-manilenyos (non-Manila residents). They had this coming, they didn’t listen,” another user tweeted.

As of August 5, Manila has 870 active cases that puts 69,503 confirmed cases. As reported last week, there were also 10 delta variant cases in the city.