DOT rolls out booster shots for fully vaxed tourism workers

Published January 13, 2022, 2:02 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has started rolling out booster shots for fully vaccinated workers in the tourism industry as an added protection against the recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

A tourism worker receives his first COVID-19 jab during the mass vaccination for tourism frontliners and workers in El Nido, Palawan last Aug. 3, 2021. (Photo from Department of Tourism)

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said most regions already attained above 90 percent vaccination rates among active and eligible tourism workers as part of the Department’s efforts to safely revive the sector.

“We are glad to see the willingness of our tourism workers to get vaccinated grow over the past few months. We continue to encourage them to avail themselves of the free vaccine as this is a critical component for the industry to rebound and thrive in the new normal,” Puyat said.

According to Puyat, the COVID-19 booster shots are now being administered to tourism workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Boracay Island, to be followed by other tourism destinations such as Baguio City and Davao.

Based on the data from the DOT-NCR office, over 50 percent of 12,693 out of the 25,386 hotel workers in Metro Manila have already received their booster shots.

In Boracay, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) has committed to allocate 20,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to be administered as booster shots to the island’s tourism workers.

As of the end of 2021, a total of 282,780 individuals or 88.38 percent of the country’s initial target population of 325,489 tourism workers from various tourism-related industries, have already been inoculated against COVID-19, leaving only 12.17 percent or 38,931 individuals who have yet to receive their first dose.

Meanwhile, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) registered the highest rate of vaccination of tourism workers with 104.24 percent. The region had completed the vaccination of its 12,019 target tourism workers but managed to inoculate a total of 12,485 which includes some individuals who acquired new jobs after the initial count.

CAR is followed by NCR with 99.89 percent or 44,186 of the region’s 44,234 initial target tourism workers.

Also registering high rates of vaccination are Davao Region (99.11 percent); Central Luzon (98.91 percent); Northern Mindanao (98.48 percent); Bicol Region (95.49 percent); Eastern Visayas (94.04 percent); SOCCSKSARGEN (91.89 percent); and Central Visayas (90.98 percent).

The DOT said the inoculated workers are from accommodation establishments temporarily operating as isolation/quarantine facilities, regular hotels, tourism enterprises, tourism support services, and community-based tourism organizations.