Groups seek booster shots for employees

BUSINESS groups and organizations are urging the government to allow the private sector to use its Covid-19 vaccines stocks for booster shots to protect their employees and their families.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the groups said that according to studies, Covid-19 vaccine efficacy wanes beyond six months and without boosters, there is a risk of another infection surge that could shut down the economy anew.

“We fully understand the need to prioritize certain sectors when vaccines are scarce but the government has announced that its stockpile of vaccines has now reached close to 60 million and continues to increase, as the vaccines are arriving faster than they can be dispensed,” they said.

“We no longer have a shortage and with such a large stockpile, we risk having vaccines expire and go to waste,” they added.

According to them, the private sector purchased the vaccines to help the government vaccinate as many as possible as soon as possible.

“We have been ready to do so even as the government imposed priorities when supply was scarce. With the oversupply, the private sector asks the government to allow it to use these vaccines to take care of their employees and dependents as their contribution to accelerating national vaccination,” they said.

“We thus enjoin the government to immediately allow the private sector to use its vaccines,” they added.

The joint statement was issued by ACI Philippines, Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Cebu Business Club, Cebu Leads Foundation, Chamber of Thrift Banks, CIBI Foundation Inc., European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc., Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Philippines Inc., Investment House Association of the Philippines and IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines.

It was also signed by Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines, Money Market Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc., Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines, Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, Philippine Life Insurance Association, Procurement and Supply Institute of Asia, Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines, Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. and the Tax Management Association of the Philippines.

As of November 22, the Philippines has administered a total of 76.52 million Covid-19 vaccine doses.

This brought the total number of fully vaccinated to 33.848 million.

The government has started this week the administration of booster shots for health care workers and senior citizens.

About Wanda Dufresne

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