BY APPOINTMENT. Each village in Manila now distributes appointment stubs for Covid-19 vaccination. Residents lauded the city government for finally getting rid of the walk-in policy that resulted in long queues and disregard for basic health protocols, especially physical distancing. (Photo courtesy of Manila PIO)

MANILA – The national Covid-19 vaccination program’s road to 24,479,750 doses administered after 23 weeks was mostly through the efforts of local government units (LGUs).

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. particularly lauded the creative ways of LGUs to entice their constituents to get vaccinated and complete the required doses.

“LGUs are really insistent that they avail of the second dose through telephone calls or even going house-to-house visits. I am very confident that LGUs would be able to get them fully vaccinated," Galvez said in Filipino during an interview with a news channel last month. "We are hoping that through our moral suasion, we will encourage 100 percent to get their second doses."

In Manila, the local government finally used the scheduling system starting Sunday, after mounting complaints on long queues that start even before sunrise and forced some to spend the night outside vaccination sites even amid inclement weather.

Unlike the previous first come, first served policy, all villages in the capital city’s six districts are now allotted specific time and venue to get jabbed.

On the third day of the by-appointment vaccination, the Philippine News Agency gathered the sentiments posted by vaccinees on social media.

“Amen sa patakaran ngayon. Walang hassle, walang agawan ng pila, hindi ka pipila ng 2 a.m. para lang singitan ng kakagising lang ng 7 a.m. Lakas maka-civilized citizen (Amen to the new process. No hassle, no line skipping. We don’t need to fall in line at 2 a.m. only for out spot to be taken over by someone who woke up at 7 a.m. This is more civilized),” netizen Rowelle Alberto Sanchez posted on Tuesday.

Another netizen shared the same sentiment of finally getting rid of crowding outside vaccination sites.

Salamat sa improvement ng vaccination. Hnd na kailangan gumising ng madaling araw para pumila ng pagkahabahaba (Thank you for this improvement in the vaccination. I don’t have to wake up before dawn and fall in line for hours),” Vangie Paragas Bion posted.

“Maganda na ang systema nila mabilis lang. 30 minutes, tapos na (This system is better, it’s faster, done after 30 minutes),” Amie Gamayot Salva shared.

Jessica Patungan was thankful that finally she got her first dose of the Covid-19 jab after four failed tries.

Salamat napakadali ng pila hndi tulad nuon after apat na beses na pagpila naka bakuna na rin po ako (It was fast unlike before. I already tried four times. Now finally I got vaccinated),” she said.

The total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses already administered by the city government as of Tuesday has reached 1,544,388. (PNA)