PRESIDENTIAL Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said booster vaccinations are not only for citizens’ health but also for the survival of the Philippine economy. This as he put forward the specifics of his proposal to promote booster vaccination among Filipinos. The Go Negosyo founder shared that in his discussions with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III following a letter outlining his proposal, he asked the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to resolve that the definition of “fully vaccinated individuals” be updated to include the booster or third Covid-19 vaccine dose for all adults.
“We are pushing for boosters because we don’t want the economy to suffer again should we experience another increase in cases. This is so we can continue going back to a normal life. Boosters will keep us and the economy healthy until the end of the year,” he said.
Specifically, the Go Negosyo founder requested that the validity of vaccine cards be time-bound, taking into account the efficacy of the primary doses as determined by the government’s medical experts. Concepcion also noted that booster vaccine cards can take the place of vaccine cards 60 days from the date of an IATF resolution, as proof of vaccination for travel, work and overall movement.
“I am proposing that booster cards become proof of vaccination,” he said, adding that LGU’s booster cards could suffice as proof of full vaccination as record-keeping and encoding on the national government’s vaccination database VAXCERTPH catches up.
Addressing concerns that the booster requirement might hamper mobility and affect business activity, he said that all adults can be given 60 days to get their booster shots. And in order to give ready access to all those who are willing to receive their booster shots, he also proposed that all adults be given the additional dose regardless of their priority category. “This would allow mobility to continue while still giving enough time for Filipinos to get boostered,” he said.
Concepcion noted that the cooperation between the public and private sector remains key in accelerating the Philippines’ return to growth. Further to this, he offered the business community’s support in implementing the booster initiatives, including information dissemination, offering booster vaccination incentives, and even assisting in the encoding and streamlining of processes in VAXCERTPH. “We are here to support in every possible way,” he said.