Over 35,000 employees and extended workforce of San Miguel Corporation will receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines in the next five weeks as the company accelerates its “Ligtas lahat” vaccination
program following the delivery of the first tranche of AstraZeneca vaccines secured last year via a tripartite agreement with the government.
SMC president Ramon Ang said the company had already delivered an initial 26,700 doses to various provinces where it operates.
Vaccination for employees based in the National Capital Region commenced at the San Miguel Sports Complex in Pasig on July 27.
SMC has also hastened its vaccination campaign in Isabela, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Laguna, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro which it targets to finish until August 27.
“We are in a race against time to have all of our 70,000 employees fully-vaccinated and I firmly believe that we are on track to achieve micro herd immunity in our offices and facilities nationwide in a few months. Our goal is to work quickly, efficiently, and safely to have everyone completely vaccinated and protected against COVID-19, and the emerging Delta variant, which is more transmissible according to our health experts,”Ang said.
Ang said some 35,855 employees have signed up for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which SMC procured under its P1 billion “Ligtas Lahat” Program.
Majority of the workers will get their jabs at the San Miguel Sports Complex in Pasig City and in Cavite.
As of Monday (Aug. 2) at least 12 sites simultaneously operating in Laguna, Cavite, Batangas (Mabini and Lipa), Pampanga, Pangasinan, Isabela, Bataan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro.
Earlier, SMC said some 17,000 employees had already either received their first dose or have been fully-vaccinated, as category A4 workers through SMC’s partnership with government units and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, or with their own LGUs as A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (adults with comorbidities).
Ang said the company has more than enough vaccines for its workforce as it recently received 150,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine good for 75,000 direct and indirect workers.
SMC is expecting another batch of 150,000 doses of AstraZeneca jabs to arrive next year under the tripartite agreement that the private sector signed with the government and the British-Swedish drugmaker in November 2020.
“We are striking a balance between getting as many employees fully vaccinated as soon as possible while not affecting the maximum protection that the vaccine will provide. We will continue to seek guidance from the experts on the best interval or the middle ground, given the new strain of the virus,”Ang said.
“Our immediate vaccination goals are in line with the government’s aim to reduce COVID-19 cases that can lead to severe illness, hospitalization, and even death, and to lessen the burden on our health facilities and medical workers,” he added.
To assist in the national vaccination effort, particularly in the NCR, the company has employed over a hundred doctors and nurses. They are currently deployed at various LGU sites in Mandaluyong, Manila, Malabon, Paranaque, and Quezon City and have helped administer some 444,673 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of July 26.
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