A boy looks out at the peacocks as he waits to be inoculated with his first dose at Manila Zoo on Wednesday. Reuters
The Philippines opened a zoo on Wednesday as a makeshift vaccination centre in the hope its elephants and eagles can attract young and elderly people hesitant about getting inoculated against COVID-19.
Manila zoo was giving vaccinations to young people age 12-17 and the elderly and allowing recipients of jabs to spend time observing its elephant enclosure, peacocks and more.
"Aside from being safe and also getting vaccinated, the kids can also enjoy the outdoors, the scenery, and the animals that are here inside," said Joyce Pablo, mother of one of the children being inoculated.
A woman takes picture with her phone as people visit Manila Zoo, which serves as a coronavirus vaccination site. Reuters
The Philippines has so far fully inoculated about half of its population, but many areas outside the capital region are lagging far behind, complicating efforts to suppress fresh outbreaks of COVID-19.
Daily coronavirus infections have hit records several times this month, driven by the especially contagious Omicron variant, prompting a tightening of curbs on mobility https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/philippines-alert-covid-19-infections-hit-2-month-high-2021-12-31, including a public transport ban https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/philippines-extends-coronavirus-curbs-capital-region-until-end-jan-2022-01-14 for the unvaccinated.
The Philippines has had problems with vaccine hesitancy particularly among children. For his part, President Rodrigo Duterte has even threatened to arrest unvaccinated people.
A woman receives a booster shot of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at Manila Zoo. Reuters
Ray Salinel, a doctor, said the zoo was a great idea to encourage more people to be inoculated.
"After the vaccination of those aged 12-17 years, seniors, and those with multiple illnesses, they can go around the zoo," he said. "Even if the zoo isn't completely open, they can enjoy the sights, the peacocks, eagles and Mali (elephant). They can relax and forget about their problems."
Prof. Sarah Gilbert, one of the scientists behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, is warning that the next pandemic may more contagious and more lethal unless more money is devoted to research and preparations to fight emerging viral threats.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted approval for entry of individuals vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine starting from Jan.1, 2022," the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of Sputnik V, said in a statement.
The new training hub comes after the UN agency set up a technology transfer hub in Cape Town, South Africa, last year to give companies from poor and middle-income countries the know-how to produce COVID-19 vaccines based on mRNA technology.
In a heroic scene, an Omani man rescued two children from certain death in the Sultanate of Oman on Friday, after they were swept away by violent surface run-off in a valley in Bahla.
Sheikh Sultan stressed the importance of teaching the Arabic language to students, and developing its teaching methods, and encouraging students to learn it.
The new station is equipped with fully automated fuel systems with auto tank gauging and electronic leak detection systems, which is in line with ENOC’s commitment to foster sustainability across the nation