‘Family affair’: Parents bring their kids to BPOs for COVID shots

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2022 08:18 PM

MAYNILA—Without wincing, a girl and two boys got their COVID-19 vaccines alongside their parents who worked at a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm in Mandaluyong City on Friday night.

They were the first vaccine recipients among 500 children and adults at the TelePerformance EDSA branch, which offered nighttime inoculation for employees and city residents.

The branch is the BPO’s third site to offer on-site vaccination this March, with another branch in Quezon City slated to start next week.

Jab drives at BPOs are convenient for night shift workers who want their children as young as 5 to get immunized against COVID-19. 

Ryan Sumera, the BPO’s site director and father of the 2 boys who were first in line, said he had tried registering his children in nearby cities. But he said there were too many people at some sites like malls, while others were too far. 

“I was more familiar with the office space, so when they told us na mayroon dito (jabs were available) and I just live in Pasig, very near, I got the opportunity, and true enough... convenient, hindi maraming tao (it was convenient, there weren't too many people),” Sumera said.

“Doing it here is already an incentive. They don’t have to venture far, there’s no waste in time, it’s fast, walang disruption ng work,” he added. 

The health department has allowed 4 other BPO companies to offer administer coronavirus vaccines to the dependents of their employees. Some also offered jabs to the public who register with the local health office.

“Naging family affair na dinala nila dito. So maganda talaga na dinadala sa workplace, kasi marami pa talaga, halimbawa, walang time na pumunta sa vaccination site, so nilapit na natin ang ating serbisyo kung nasaan sila,” said DOH-National Capital Region (NCR) director Dr. Gloria Balboa.

(It has become a family affair. It's good that the vaccination is brought to the workplace because many people, for example, have no time to go to the vaccination site.) 

Balboa said with over 100 percent of the target population in Metro Manila already fully vaccinated, authorities have shifted their focus to promoting booster shots.

In-house health staff at BPOs were oriented to administer the jabs. The DOH said the local health office and the national agency would provide additional manpower if needed.

Dr. Kezia Lorraine Rosario, co-head of the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) said the workplace jab drive rollout would continue to expand after the initial favorable response.

“Maganda naman ang turnout, ‘yong partnership kailangan natin ma-establish sa each of the companies, mga industries. We’re also talking with the ecozones, industrial or IT ecozones,” Rosario said.

(The turnout was good, we need to establish partnership with each of the companies, industries. We’re also talking with the ecozones, industrial or IT ecozones.) 

Around 1.4 million children aged 5 to 11 and 9.7 million children aged 12 to 17 have gotten COVID-19 shots, the DOH said Friday.

Meanwhile, around 65 million Filipinos or over 72 percent of the target population have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.


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