(File photo)

Puerto Princesa will now allow walk-ins for all vaccination categories in an effort to speed up targeted herd immunity, set at 70 percent of inoculated city residents by March 2022.

Incident Management Team (IMT) commander Dr. Dean Palanca, in a safety officer webinar held on Tuesday, said the mega-vaccination site at the City Coliseum will be accepting any category on Tuesdays to Saturday afternoons, as long as they have secured a QR code.

“Willing na ang City Coliseum magtanggap ng mga walk-in. Ang maganda lang na mayroon tayong QR code. Kahit wala ka pang schedule, kahit A5 ka pa, ipakita lang ninyo ang QR code ninyo. ‘Yong mga wala pang QR code, mag-register na,” he said.

Palanca further reiterated that vaccination is the key to prevent death due to COVID-19, especially the Delta variant. He added that in their most recent data, 106 out of 117 patients who died from June to August 2021 were unvaccinated, while 9 out of the 117 only received their first dose. Also, two fully vaccinated patients were reported to have died. One patient died of cancer, the other was unspecified.

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“Tayo ay naghahabol sa oras. Mahirap na kung tayo ay mobile, mayroon na tayong mga tao sa churches, offices, at schools na unvaccinated. Delikadong-delikado kapag tinamaan ng COVID, pero lalo na kung may Delta variant na,” said Palanca.

While the IMT still has no news if the lone male patient they are monitoring has the Delta variant, it is better to prepare everyone in Puerto Princesa for the entry of the variant.

“Kaunti na lang ang mga province sa bansa na walang ganito, kasama na tayo. Inaasahan natin na tatamaan tayo talaga niyan, maigi na rin na mag-prepare tayo,” he said.

Palanca stated that it is not just up to the city government to deal with the possibility of the Delta variant. There is still a possibility that the city could go into lockdown once more if the Delta variant is detected, and that it could overwhelm the city’s healthcare system. Palanca added that they are even looking for burial sites, as they predict that the death toll could be higher.

Earlier in August, city mayor Lucilo Bayron said the city government is anticipating achieving herd immunity by March 2022 if the vaccine supplies remained steady.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.