Go Negosyo's 'Vax to the Max' to spur vaccination efforts in countryside

Published November 6, 2021, 3:13 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Non-profit advocacy group Go Negosyo is hoping that its “Vax to the Max” campaign will encourage vaccinations efforts against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the countryside and help the local government units (LGUs) there open up their economies.


In a statement, Go Negosyo founder and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said they came up with the campaign after noting that vaccine hesitancy remains high in the provinces.

He likewise emphasized the need to speed up vaccinations in areas outside the National Capital Region (NCR).

“If we are to save lives and jobs, we need to vaccinate at least 70 percent in all regions. We need to create ‘Bakuna Bubbles’ not just in NCR, but the rest of the country,” he said.

“Being vaccinated is our weapon in winning this war. Vaccines protect us from severe infection and hospitalization,” he added.

Go Negosyo’s Vax to the Max is a dashboard that uses a map of the Philippines to show vaccination rates in regions and key cities across the country. It shows the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated against COVID-19. It covers Regions 1 to 12, the NCR, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The program’s dashboard uses data from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and is refreshed every one to two weeks.

The first of the Vax to the Max ashboards appeared in major Philippines dailies last Oct. 31.

The dashboard shows at a glance how well the regions and major cities are doing in their vaccination drives. A star is used to mark areas that have achieved a 70-percent vaccination rate, a smiley face for those with a 21- to 69-percent vaccination rate, and a dark expressionless face for those with 20-percent or fewer of their population vaccinated.

Concepcion likened the Vax to the Max campaign to the quick count of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), the first election watch campaign established in 1983 and was accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to perform a parallel count of votes during the snap presidential elections in 1986.

With supplies of the COVID-19 continuing to arrive, the work of vaccinating the population has now shifted to addressing vaccine hesitancy and ramping up efforts by the LGUs to vaccinate their citizens.

Although the NCR has already achieved an 84+ percent target vaccination, a survey conducted last September by OCTA Research shows that vaccine hesitancy remains high in the provinces.

The survey showed that 32 percent of those surveyed in the Visayas said that they will not have themselves vaccinated. In areas in Luzon outside of the NCR, the figure remains high at 24 percent, while in Mindanao, it is at 19 percent.

“We would like to support the government’s efforts to encourage vaccination not just in NCR but nationwide, so the local economy recovers, too. As more are vaccinated, more businesses can open up safely,” Concepcion said.

Vaccination rates are linked to economic incentives given by the government to local businesses. LGUs that have vaccinated 70 percent of their population are given an additional 20 percent in applicable operational capacity.