Omicron variant makes mandatory vaccination 'urgent and justifiable': Concepcion

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2021 03:31 PM | Updated as of Dec 01 2021 04:03 PM

A resident is inoculated against COVID-19 at the Makati Coliseum on December 01, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A resident is inoculated against COVID-19 at the Makati Coliseum on December 01, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News


MANILA - The emergence of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant makes the mandatory vaccination "urgent and justifiable," presidential adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said Wednesday.

With the new variant, the country should aim for a 100 percent vaccination rate to protect the economy, Concepcion said in a statement. 

“Omicron has only made vaccine mandates urgent and justifiable. The country’s economy is at stake,” he said.

Concepcion earlier said he is supporting the government's move to make vaccinations mandatory for on-site workers. 

Those who will still refuse to get the free vaccines will have to pay for RT-PCR tests every 2 weeks which will cost P50,000 to P60,000 annually, he said. 

He cited the estimates released by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) that the pandemic would cost the economy P41.4 trillion in the present and future generations. 

Meanwhile, businesses are also reminded to implement health protocols and to strictly screen entry of fully vaccinated individuals, he said.

The Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa, has been reported in Europe, Australia and Hong Kong. 

The Philippines had already closed its borders to countries with recorded cases of the Omnicron variant.

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-- with a report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News