Malls, private health care providers to help gov't in COVID-19 vaccination drive

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 14 2021 01:39 PM

Malls, private health care providers to help gov't in COVID-19 vaccination drive 1
Residents of San Juan City are inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the FilOil Flying V Center on May 12, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat program of the private sector on Friday said they have identified 25 private hospitals from 5 top health care providers to accelerate the government's COVID-19 vaccination program.

Under the program, a total of 150,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to be administered with the help of the top 5 health care providers in the country, McDonald's Philippines managing director and Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat communications advocacy co-lead Margot Torres said during a virtual press launch. 

Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc. (AC Health), Metro Pacific Hospitals Holdings Inc (MPPHI), Mount Grace Hospitals Inc, St Luke’s Medical Center, and The Medical City will help administer some 150,000 vaccines under the program, the group said.

A total of 48 teams from the private hospitals were identified for the program, which aims to administer 5,000 jabs per day for the next 30 days in 48 mall sites.

The vaccination drive will be conducted in coordination with the Department of Health and local governments.

The program started in April in select sites while others are waiting for it to start as it needs close coordination with local government units, said Taskforce T3 member and Chief Resilience Officer of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation Guillermo “Bill” Luz.

Taskforce T3 (test, trace, treat) is an initiative launched in 2020 where the private sector, the Department of Health and the country’s coronavirus task force work together for pandemic response. 

Under the program, the private health care providers will shoulder the cost of administration, venues and manpower while the government will provide the vaccines, supplies and protective equipment, the group said.

“The commitment of the private hospitals and malls will help augment the vaccination administration of the LGUs for their constituents," former secretary of the Department of Health Dr. Manuel Dayrit said in a statement. 

Andrew Tan's Alliance Global, through its property arm Megaworld, committed 11 malls for the program, while the Sy family's SM Supermalls allotted 37 malls nationwide as vaccination venues, the groups said in a statement.

Officials have said that individually, the private groups have been doing more to help the country's COVID-19 response on top of the doses that will be administered under the program. 

Several private sector-led initiatives have helped ramp up vaccine procurement in the country. The group led by GoNegosyo's Joey Concepcion ordered AstraZeneca vaccines, while port magnate Enrique Razon worked with the government to procure Moderna vacccines.

The Philippines plans to inoculate 70 million of its over 100 million population to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.

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