PRESIDENTIAL Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion has encouraged citizens to get their needed booster shots against COVID-19 so as not to waste vaccines already available for use.
Concepcion earlier revealed that 27M doses of COVID vaccines are set to expire by July. These vaccines, which are a combination of procured vaccines and donations, are part of a total of around 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in storage.
The 80 million doses of various brands of COVID-19 vaccines with an estimated worth of P40 billion are currently stored in the Department of Health’s (DOH) 3rd party logistics warehouses, regional warehouses, and Zuellig’s warehouse.
“We call on fellow Filipinos to think about their safety and the safety of their families as well and get their booster shots immediately. As citizens, we also have a responsibility to help our government in its efforts to control the pandemic and ensure our safety while keeping the economy open,” Concepcion said.
Concepcion reminded those who received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines the importance of getting a third or booster dose to secure an additional blanket of protection against the virus.
“Remember that the efficacy of the first two doses wanes after five to six months. Booster shot is a must so we can get [an] additional layer of protection against COVID-19,” he said.
Getting booster shots would also help spare the Philippines from surges that are happening in other countries due to the emergence of various COVID-19 variants.
“We need to take the booster to protect ourselves as variants have been hitting other countries. The government has purchased these vaccines, and the slow uptake will lead to vaccines expiring, aside from waning immunity,” Concepcion explained.
National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar reported to President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday’s “Talk to the People” that around 12,477,480 Filipinos, or 13.86% have already received booster shots.
Galvez also reported that fully vaccinated individuals have reached 66,652,616 or 74.05%.
To help intensify the inoculation of booster shots, Concepcion urged the government to approve his earlier proposal to include booster shots as a requirement for a person to be considered fully vaccinated.
“If the booster vaccination rate remains low, we would be in danger of experiencing another surge that could lead to lockdowns, which would again restrict our movement and derail the momentum of our economic recovery,” Concepcion said.
“We know the freedom we enjoy today is because of vaccination. Greater mobility has brought our lives back to normal and is helping the economy as we see more people being employed. Let’s protect the gains and the freedom we currently enjoy with the help of vaccines,” he added.
Concepcion also wants to set an expiry date on vaccination cards and be replaced them with booster cards to encourage Filipinos to get their booster shots.
This proposal has been backed by experts and various business groups, such as the Philippine Franchise Association, Philippine Retailers Association, Philippine Marketing Association, Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Makati Business Club, Financial Executives Institute, American Chamber of Commerce, European Chamber of Commerce, and the Indian Chamber of Commerce.