MANILA — Some 10,000 doses of Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V are set to arrive in Bohol for the inoculation of its tourism workers, now listed among the A1 category along with health workers, the Department of Tourism announced Monday.
"With these vaccines, we are assured that frontliners from accredited hotel and resort staff, transport operators, tour site and restaurant facilities will have an added protection against COVID-19," Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.
The COVID-19 jabs are expected to benefit around 5,000 tourism workers. Puyat did not specify the date of the vaccines' arrival but the DOT in a statement said it could be "as early as this week."
According to the Bohol provincial government, more than 200,000 workers were gravely affected by community quarantines.
"Bohol draws its income from remittances abroad and the services sector, and both sources have been impacted during this crisis. The promise of more vaccines arriving sooner than later is indeed great news so we can protect not only our residents but assure visitors that we are taking measures to assure their safety as well," Bohol Governor Athur Yap said.
Yap added workers coming from DOT-accredited establishments that have secured the Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO), and Bohol’s tourism seal of excellence called the Ultimate Bohol Experience (UBE) Seal, will be prioritized in the early vaccination program.
Puyat said the inoculation of tourism workers in Bohol makes it a prime candidate for a possible travel bubble between the province and destinations in Asia. "This makes Bohol a prime candidate when we begin opening up direct travel bubbles with select regional destinations very soon," she said.