Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso is seriously considering the use of the newly-redeveloped Manila Zoo as a vaccination site for senior citizens and minors aged 5 to 11 as the national government plans to roll out the first pediatric vaccination in the first week of February.
Based on the latest data from the Department of Health, there are around 13.5 million children aged 5 to 11 in the country. Vaccinating this age group will be a big step in meeting the government’s goal of resuming physical classes and lessening restrictions on children.
Domagoso said the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is an ideal vaccination site.
The 5-hectare recreation facility has lots of open spaces and after their vaccination, children and their grandparents could go around to see the animals, the garden and the museums.
“So we thought, because of the people requesting for the Manila Zoo, at least they should have a sneak peek. Besides there are many things to visit here — open air. Double purpose, they can visit with their grandchildren or grandparents,” the mayor said during his visit to the zoo over the weekend.
The initial COVID-19 vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 will be rolled out on Feb. 1-7.
The Pfizer doses that will be used for the pediatric vaccination are expected to be delivered by the end of January.
Only the US-made vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the young age group.
But while waiting for the arrival of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine, Domagoso said minors aged 12-17 could also go to Manila Zoo to get inoculated. The upcoming vaccination site will be open to both residents and non-residents of Manila.
To ensure that minimum health protocols will be strictly followed, Domagoso said Manila Zoo’s daily foot traffic will be limited to 1,000 people only.
“Now, in order not to violate the IATF rules, due diligence will be observed by the city. There will be registration. We will also launch the Manila Zoo website so that those who want to get vaccinated can register,” he added.
Domagoso said parents of the minors as well as grandparents who are senior citizens could also get their booster at the Manila Zoo.