The Manila Zoo has been turned into a vax site so families can get jabbed

Image: Manila PIO
Image: Manila PIO

A jab and a picnic after apparently sounds enticing to families — so to ramp up vaccination rates, the Manila city government has decided to turn the newly renovated Manila Zoo into a vaccination site.

That’s right, that means getting inoculated by being surrounded by wild animals.

As odd as that may sound, it does make some sense to turn the vaccination program at the zoo into a family affair: the local government is opening vaccination slots for those aged 12 to 17, so kids can get jabbed and enjoy a day with their family looking at eagles, monkeys, and elephants — when they’re not reeling from the temporary side effects of the vaccine.

The Manila Health Department said they administered 533 doses for children and adults at the zoo during yesterday’s launch, of which 129 were first doses, 20 for their second dose, and 384 booster shots.

Of the decision to turn the zoo into a jab site, Manila mayor and presidential bet Isko Moreno said, “Gusto ko kasi makapamasyal yung bata tsaka lola. Gusto ko yung sariwang hangin, time to spend together as family.” (I want kids and grandmothers to stroll. I want them to enjoy fresh air, time to spend together as a family.)

About half of the country’s population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, but recent record-breaking resurges by the Omicron variant have complicated progress.

Over 1,000 doses will be administered each day as the vaccination program runs from January 19 to 31, the government said. Those interested to receive their shots at Manila Zoo will need to sign up for a ticket on the Manila Zoo website. They must be registered at Manila’s vaccination portal, or register on-site.

READ: Have you seen the new Manila Zoo?

Manila turns Quirino Grandstand into massive drive-thru vaccination site

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