COVID Vax Express for 5,000 public transport drivers in QC launched

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Quezon City government on Thursday, August 12, joined forces to vaccinate 5,000 public transport drivers in the city during the Vaccine Express drive-through vaccination that will run until August 13.

Vice President Leni Robredo and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte open the Vaccine Express for jeepney and tricycle drivers and delivery riders in Novaliches, Quezon City. (OVP)

Vice President Leni Robredo and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte were on hand during the launching of the two-day vaccination program at Robinsons Novaliches.

This initiative aims to vaccinate tricycle and jeepney drivers, as well as delivery riders, who fall under the A4 category or essential workers.

“Iyong exposure ng ating mga driver napakalaki. Iyong exposure nila sa mga customers, restaurants na binibilhan nila ng pagkain, sa pang-araw-araw na pakikibaka nila sa paghanap-buhay grabe ang exposure. Masaya tayo nabibigyan sila ng pagkakataon na ganito (Our drivers are very much exposed. They are exposed to their customers, the restaurants where they buy the food, and their everyday struggle to earn a living. We are happy that they are given the opportunity like this),” she said at the sidelines of the Vaccine Express.

Aside from the vaccine itself, the program will also incentivize the drivers with a post-vaccination care kits that include masks, paracetamol and vitamins, Puregold gift certificates, and bottled drinks, among others.

READ: Robredo teams up with QC for Vaccine Express

The vice president credited the local government unit (LGU) of Quezon City for the systematic process of vaccination.

Robredo lauded the LGU for the organized management of the initiative from the registration to the monitoring to handing over the incentives.

She said it’s important for drivers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 not only because of their risks of exposure but also because they need to work daily for their families.

This is not the first Vaccine Express organized by the OVP in collaboration with the LGUs. The first Vaccine Express was a partnership with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno wherein they inoculated 4,599 first doses and 2,979 for the second dose.

READ: Leni lauds Isko: ‘He’s not afraid to have a photo with me’

An offshoot of the Vaccine Express in Manila called the NagaVax Express and IrigaVax Express were also held in Robredo’s home province of Camarines Sur.

In Naga City, the vaccination initiative administered 6,719 doses of the single-shot Janssen vaccine while in Iriga City, 6,102 people received their shots.

Yesterday, 100,000 doses of Sinopharm doses donated by the United Arab Emirates government and 13,150 doses of Pfizer vaccine were received by the national government for its vaccination drive.

As a routine, the vaccines were to be transported to the PharmaServ Express’ cold-chain facility in Marikina City for temporary storage before it is packaged and distributed to various parts of the country.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said the latest batch of vaccines will be delivered to areas with a high number of Delta variant cases.