COVID-19

Voters can get vaccinated against COVID-19 on election day

Bonz Magsambol
Voters can get vaccinated against COVID-19 on election day

VACCINATION. Cebu residents receive vaccine booster jabs at a COVID-19 vaccination facility in Cebu City on February 2.

Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says vaccination sites can be 'pop up' or tents, which will be located 30 meters radius away from the polling sites

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said that vaccination sites will be set up near polling sites on Monday, May 9, so the public could get vaccinated after casting their votes.

“Pagkatapos ‘nyo pong bumoto, maaari po kayong dumiretso doon kung wala pa ho kayong booster o di kaya ay kailangan pang kumpletuhin ang primary series. Ito po ay bigay ng ating pamahalaan [ng] libre para sa inyo lahat para tayo ay magkaroon ng tuloy-tuloy na protection,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing on Saturday, May 7.

(After voting, you can proceed to the vaccination sites if you still haven’t got you booster shot or you haven’t completed yet your primary series. This will be given by the government for free so we have continued protection against COVID-19.)

In a message sent to reporters, Vergeire said that the vaccination sites can be “pop up” or tents, which will be located 30 meters radius away from the polling sites. She added that voters should only present their vaccination card and a valid ID.

The setting up of vaccination sites during election day is seen to boost the country’s vaccination coverage as some 65.7 million Filipinos are expected to cast their votes in a highly divisive elections on Monday. The government has repeatedly stressed the vaccination is not a requirement for voting.

This will be the first time that the Philippines will hold elections in the middle of a pandemic. President Rodrigo Duterte declared Monday as a special non-working holiday to enable Filipinos to exercise their right to vote.

As of May 6, the Philippines has fully vaccinated 62% of its 110-million population. However, booster uptake remains low, as only over 13 million individuals have received their booster shots. The DOH had urged the public to get their booster shot against COVID-19 as the threat of Omicron subvariants loom. – Rappler.com

Follow Rappler’s coverage of the 2022 Philippine Elections on ph.rappler.com or head over to its social media accounts for updates.

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.