San Miguel Corporation is aiming to give over 35,000 employees and extended workforce their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines in the next five weeks following the delivery of the first tranche of Astra Zeneca vaccines it procured.
SMC president Ramon S. Ang said that the company had already delivered an initial 26,700 doses to various provinces where it operates. Vaccination on more NCR-based employees commenced at the San Miguel Sports Complex in Pasig last July 27.
The conglomerate has also accelerated its vaccination campaign in Isabela, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Laguna, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro 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,” said Ang.
He added that, “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 that 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. A majority of the workers will get their jabs at the San Miguel Sports Complex in Pasig City and the province of Cavite.
SMC currently has 12 vaccination sites, the most number to date that are simultaneously operating, in Laguna, Cavite, Batangas (Mabini and Lipa), Pampanga, Pangasinan, Isabela, Bataan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro.
Earlier, SMC also reported that an estimated 17,000 employees had already either received their first dose or have been fully-vaccinated, as category A4 workers or as A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (adults with comorbidities).
Ang said the company has more than enough vaccines to vaccinate its workforce as it recently received 150,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine good for 75,000 direct and indirect workers.
SMC is expecting another batch of 150,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to arrive next year under the tri-partite agreement that the private sector signed with the government and the British-Swedish drug maker last November 2020.
Ang added that SMC expects to administer the second doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine for its employees starting in the middle of September. Under the Department of Health (DOH) guidance, the standard interval for AstraZeneca doses is four weeks to 12 weeks apart.
“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 explained.