Private sector seeks accelerated vax rollout

Jose Rodel Clapano - The Philippine Star
Private sector seeks accelerated vax rollout
A health worker inoculates a resident with a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine inside a Catholic church turned into a vaccination centre in Manila on May 21, 2021.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — At a recent Task Force T3 meeting, recommendations were shared to accelerate vaccination rollout.

Acceleration of the jab rate is especially important outside the National Capital Region (NCR), the private sector groups of Task Force T3 (T3) highlighted.

They believe that is now made possible by the growing amount of vaccine deliveries, resulting from the relentless efforts of vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, with strong support of the private sector in procuring vaccine doses via tripartite agreements.

Other measures that the private sector groups within T3 are proposing include ensuring that the policies to open up vaccination to the general population and vaccinating 12-17 year olds are implemented across all regions and that booster shots be implemented immediately starting with health care workers.

For all of these, the mindset from scarcity of supply to sufficiency is key and embracing a simultaneous approach for all sectors over a sequential mode by sector.

There should continue to be priority lanes for A1 to A4 individuals.

Members of T3 appealed for flexibility to administer the doses for 12-17-year-olds and for boosters among their employees at the soonest possible time as they expressed concern over expiration of the supply they procured.

Another recommendation is for the government to spread to provincial local government units (LGUs) the processes and practices employed by NCR LGUs who have successfully achieved vaccination coverage of close to 80 percent of the adult population. This includes a planning tool developed by T3 and employed by several NCR LGUs.

To reinforce the importance of vaccination and increase demand, the groups also proposed vaccine incentives for the fully vaccinated, allowing more mobility and unrestricted access to restaurants, gyms, tourism and other establishments and all forms of public transportation, as well as at airports and seaports.

More mobility among the fully vaccinated can happen and restrictions can be removed or eased because this supports the move to re-open the economy safely.

They underscored the importance of vaccination for health care workers, school employees and students and transportation and government workers.

T3 is optimistic that with increased vaccination, the focus can shift from lockdowns to a faster reopening of the economy.

For NCR and other highly vaccinated areas, re-opening public transportation and schools was also proposed.

They also called for the exertion of all efforts to reach Alert Level 2 in NCR by early November.

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