'Bakuna Bubble' goal is to step up vaccinations — Concepcion

Published September 18, 2021, 4:52 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion defended the “Bakuna Bubble” concept Saturday, Sept. 18 from claims that it would only lead to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections among vaccinated individuals.

(Ali Vicoy/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Speaking during the “Laging Handa” public briefing, Concepcion clarified that it’s not the Bakuna Bubble’s goal per se to halt COVID-19 infections.

“Hindi namin sinasabi na hindi puwedeng mahawa, iyon ang misunderstanding ng WHO [World Health Organization] (We’re not saying that infections won’t happen, that’s the misunderstanding of WHO),” Concepcion said.

He was reacting to statements made by WHO Representative Dr. Rabi Abeyasinghe, who earlier this month expressed concern about the spread of COVID-19 within these so-called “vaccine bubbles”.

Concepcion noted that the Bakuna Bubble he is proposing is composed of separate bubbles like the family bubble, which represents the movement of vaccinated people at home; and the business bubble, which covers activities of vaccinated employees at their respective workplaces.

“Iyong goal ng family bubble…iyong mismong padre de pamilya (The goal of the family bubble is…the head of the family)…either the father or the mother, [will] make sure that everybody is vaccinated and the extended family.

“Katulad dito sa business bubble, ang mga CEO (chief executive officer) katulad ko (Over here in the business bubble, CEOs like me), I really go over and check kung ayaw magpabakuna (if employees don’t want to get vaccinated), I even explain that to them including our managers, kaya mataas dito sa private sector ang (that’s why the private sector has a high) percentage of vaccine acceptance,” he explained.

Another building block bubble according to Concepcion is the transport bubble, which bridges the gap between the family and business bubbles. He reiterated that only fully vaccinated persons allowed this kind of mobility under his Bakuna Bubble strategy.

“Kasi alam naman natin iyong mga bakuna Because we already know that), our vaccines are not anymore preventing Delta [variant] from infecting even the vaccinated. Pero (But) the most important thing there, it is preventing people from being hospitalized, those vaccinated ‘no,” he said.

Citing data from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), the Palace official said that almost 85 percent of those admitted are unvaccinated individuals or those given with just one dose of COVID-19 vaccines.

“So we have to solve this problem, ito ang problema natin, iyong mga hospital mapupuno dahil sa mga unvaccinated (this is the problem, our hospitals are getting filled up because of the unvaccinated),” he said, adding that strict lockdowns are triggered whenever hospitals reach their maximum capacity for patients.

Although Concepcion admitted that it’s still possible for the inoculated to get hospitalized, he said this would only account for a small figure and most of these cases would be treatable at home.

“So maski tumataas iyong kaso at 10,000-20,000 cases daily, dapat hindi (So even if our cases go up by 10,000 to 20,000 daily)—we shouldn’t get scared kasi kung bakunado lahat ‘yan, hindi ‘yan pupunta sa hospital. May konting porsiyento ‘no ang pupunta sa hospital at tuloy ang negosyo, tuloy rin ang pagbukas ng economy (If they are all vaccinated, they don’t need to be hospitalized. Only a small percentage will go to the hospital and business can continue, the economy can be reopened) and then we do it safely.

“[If] we vaccinate more of our Philippine population then we don’t expect to see more people going to the hospital,” he underscored.

The Bakuna Bubble concept has gained a lot of backers since it was first floated by Concepcion late last month.