More AstraZeneca jabs arrive; Concepcion upbeat on workers' inoculation

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion cannot help but feel upbeat about the vaccination of workers in the private sector following the "timely" arrival of 600,000 AstraZeneca jabs on Friday morning, Sept. 17.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion (center) believes that the newly-arrived AstraZeneca jabs would facilitate the immediate vaccination of workers in the private sector. (MANILA BULLETIN)

The latest arrival of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines represents the third batch of AstraZeneca shots received by the country so far this month.

“The arrival of the third batch of vaccines this September totaling to over a million doses procured by the private sector is very timely, as we are aggressively rolling out vaccination efforts to help prevent the transmission of the Delta variant," Concepcion said.

"We need a fast and almost perfect rollout and the private sector, with the arrival of these vaccine doses from AstraZeneca, can now do that for its employees,” he noted.

Concepcion--the man behind the well-received "Bakuna Bubble" strategy--underscored that the intensified vaccination rollouts across the country are crucial in achieving the goal of beating the Delta variant, which would then allow for the safe reopening of the economy.

The Go Negosyo founder joined National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and AstraZeneca Country President Lotis Ramin in welcoming the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccines.

Galvez lauded the private sector, especially Go Negosyo's "A Dose of Hope" program, for supporting President Duterte’s call for unity among all stakeholders in society to effectively quell COVID-19.

“This milestone is the result of the collective efforts of our LGUs (local government units), our private sector partners, and our healthcare workers. They always find ways to ensure that they will deliver on their promises. We got the commitment of our LGUs such that our vaccination efforts this September will be more aggressive to quell the Delta variant,” he said.

Concepcion also highlighted that the doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will complement the government’s efforts to mitigate the spread of the more dangerous and communicable Delta variant.

“Ramped up vaccination during the granular lockdowns in NCR (National Captial Region) will help us beat the Delta variant, thereby allowing us to save the fourth quarter of the year from irreversible effects to the healthcare system and to the economy,” he stressed.

“We want to help the government so that we can execute the vaccine rollout in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Allowing us to execute, we could focus on the vaccination of our employees, the LGUs could focus on its constituents, and the national government could focus on the rest that are not covered," he explained.

On the other hand, Ramin said: “AstraZeneca is committed to the Philippines to be part of the solution during this pandemic and this latest delivery of more than 600,000 vaccine doses recognizes our continuous efforts to help Filipinos regain a sense of normalcy and achieve economic recovery as soon as possible. We continue to collaborate and work closely with the national government, , and the private sector to help heal the nation. This collaborative effort, we define and practice as 'bayanihan' has made an impact to the country’s total efforts against the pandemic.”

Concepcion's A Dose of Hope initiative was launched on November 27, 2020.

This initiative was done through a tripartite agreement among the private sector, the Philippine government, and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The program allowed the private sector to purchase AstraZeneca vaccines for the inoculation of its workers.

A batch of 500,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses procured by the private sector under this agreement arrived in the country last Sept. 10.