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Go Negosyo launches campaign to encourage more booster vaccinations

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
Go Negosyo launches campaign to encourage more booster vaccinations
Children 5 to 11, 12-18 and 18 above adult recieved thier first Jab and booster shots at Marikina Sports Complex Mega Vaccination site Monday (May 23, 2022).
Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship or Go Negosyo continues to urge more Filipinos to get COVID-19 booster vaccinations after recently launching its “Isa Pa” campaign.

In a statement yesterday, Go Negosyo said the campaign, which depicts the importance of taking one more vaccination shot to protect lives and livelihoods, will span both traditional and online media platforms nationwide.

“There really needs to be a concerted effort to tell Filipinos that booster vaccinations are necessary to protect our families, our friends and our economy,” Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said.

“We already achieved so much in reopening the economy. It’s time to work on sustaining what we have gained, and we can do that by reinforcing our wall of immunity,” he added.

The Isa Pa campaign emphasizes the importance of booster vaccinations to support the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises, including small vendors, drivers and farmers, according to Go Negosyo.

The campaign stresses that booster vaccinations also serve to reinforce the wall of protection around loved ones, especially the elderly and young children in the family.

Members of the Advisory Council of Experts (ACE), which comprise the country’s foremost authorities on medicine, public health, economics, and research and data analytics, earlier emphasized the need for more booster vaccinations.

The authorities from ACE have reiterated that the data is clear on why primary vaccinations are insufficient to safeguard against COVID and its variants, and that boosters restore protection to sufficient levels.

The group emphasized that along with variants, reinfections and the threat of long COVID also have consequences on people’s productivity and the economy.

“And now, especially with children returning to in-person classes, we need to protect all members of the family so that we can continue reopening the economy,” Concepcion said.

The Go Negosyo founder acknowledged the contribution of Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos in the launching of the Isa Pa campaign, as he inspired the rallying cry for renewed efforts to push booster vaccination among Filipinos.

“We need to convince people that they need boosters,” Abalos said as he noted the public’s continuing hesitation to take their booster shots.

“The messaging is important. We need to tell them that boosters have become urgent with the start of in-person classes now only weeks away,” he added.

With over P5 billion worth of COVID-19 vaccines purchased by the private sector now expired, Concepcion earlier called for the government and private sector to work together to correct gaps in the country’s vaccination efforts and succeed in preventing further lockdowns.

“We are grateful because of President Marcos’ ‘no more lockdown’ directive, but moving forward, we can do much better if we address the gaps and continue vaccinating to the max,” said Concepcion, a prime mover in the business sector’s effort to help the government’s COVID vaccination program.

“Let’s correct the gaps and move forward,” he added, citing the leadership of the Department of Health (DOH) as one of the gaps.

The former presidential adviser on entrepreneurship expressed belief that a lot of confusion and misalignment happened because consensus-building took precedence over urgency, particularly in the vaccines’ expiration.

“Having multiple committees contribute to the effort and trying to get consensus among experts is fine, but in a state of public health emergency, one person must make the call. The COVID pandemic was not business-as-usual. Time was not on our side,” he said.

Losses from recently expired vaccines purchased by the private sector would have been minimized if the guidelines were released earlier, particularly when the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved it in that country, according to Concepcion.

“The HTAC (Health Technology Assessment Council) decided to allow second boosters for those 50 years old and above two days before most of our supply would expire, and if we were only given enough time, we could have done more,” he said, referring to the group which advises the DOH on health-related interventions to be funded by the government.

Concepcion earlier reported that 4.25 million doses of AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines were set to expire by the end of July.

He stressed that informed decisiveness would have contributed to raising vaccination rates, especially at a time when people were driven to get their vaccinations for fear of getting infected.

“The demand for vaccinations was high with the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants, and it started to slow down with Omicron. When people saw that the risk was going down, they became complacent,” Concepcion said.

BOOSTER SHOT

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