City of Manila starts online registration for free COVID-19 vaccines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 1) — The City of Manila has launched a pre-registration program for residents who want to avail of free COVID-19 vaccines.

Through the website, city residents may sign up for a slot ahead of the rollout of the local vaccination process. The link went live just before New Year and features a sign-up sheet, a summary of COVID-19 cases in the city, a still empty heat map for areas where people have already been vaccinated, and an online database.

Some Manila residents were informed about the online registration through a Dec. 31 text advisory.

READ: Over 300,000 Manila City residents to be prioritized for future COVID-19 vaccination — mayor

According to the website, the vaccines will be administered in two doses to be given four weeks apart. It provides disclaimers on the effect of the doses, such as the warning that people may still get infected with the coronavirus immediately after the vaccine is injected.

In a tweet, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso explained that the city has reached out to US drug makers Pfizer and Moderna for vaccine supply and that they have an established vaccination process on standby.

The website also assured that only vaccines certified safe for use by the Food and Drug Administration will be purchased by the city hall.

"While it is true that uunahin natin ang mga medical frontliners at ang mga senior citizens base sa polisiya ng World Health Organization, DOH at IATF... after natin mabakunahan ang mga nasabing sektor, agad tayo makapagpabakuna sa mga taong interesado na magkaroon ng kapanatagan sa pang-araw-araw nilang mga buhay," Moreno said on Thursday evening.

[Translation: While it is true that we will prioritize medical frontliners and senior citizens based on the policies of the World Health Organization, DOH and IATF... after we vaccinate them, we will immediately inoculate those who are interested to have peace of mind in their everyday lives.]

The vaccine of Pfizer and its partner BioNTech is the first to be approved by foreign regulators for emergency use. It secured WHO approval on Friday, which is said to fast-track regulatory clearances in other nations.

READ: Emergency use approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine may be out ‘within a month’ — FDA

Moreno earlier said that the city has set aside ₱200 million to buy COVID-19 vaccines, adding that they can cancel more projects to free up more funds if needed.

The Philippine government has yet to finalize supply deals with foreign vaccine makers, but expects to receive doses from China's Sinovac by March. There are conflicting efficacy rates for Sinovac, which is assured to be "over 50% effective" by its manufacturer, compared to Pfizer's 95% and Moderna's 94.5%.

Among the details required for the vaccine registration are the person's full name, birthday, mobile number, and home address. The city resident must also fill up data regarding previous COVID-19 infections, recent exposure to a patient or foreign travel, and symptoms experienced.

Medical history must also be disclosed, such as hypertension, diabetes, lung problems, recent dog bite, previous vaccination, blood transfusion, allergies, and antiviral drugs being taken, if any.

Pregnant or nursing mothers also need to disclose such conditions to the Manila Health Department.

After this, the registrant's mobile number will be validated through a one-time PIN, which they must encode in the next page. This is to ensure that the contact number is active and may be used once the vaccination program is implemented.

The last step for registration is the signing of an online waiver.

Manila has 295 active cases out of 24,893 total infections, according to latest local government data.