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More vaccine doses for private sector arrive

The arrival of more coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines purchased by the private sector will speed up the creation of bakuna bubbles, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd said on Friday.

Concepcion made the statement as he welcomed the arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport of 502,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine procured by the private sector.

Concepcion said he remained confident the economy will bounce back better as more vaccines are administered to workers in private companies and their families.

The latest batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine was procured by the private sector through a tripartite agreement with the national government and the vaccine manufacturer.

An additional 61 million doses ordered by the government and private firms are expected to arrive in the next two months.

The bakuna bubble was conceived by Concepcion as a way of accelerating the country’s economic recovery.

Under the concept, vaccinated individuals can move more freely and enter business establishments like shops and malls.

“This is a reasonable consideration for us to constrict the mobility of the unvaccinated, as the only thing we want is to protect them and save their lives,” Concepcion said.

Given the need to balance health and safety precautions with support for business owners, the Go Negosyo founder said bakuna bubbles “will be a huge boost in economic activity.”

“Many Filipinos express concerns about the two key issues: the effect that the government-imposed quarantines have had on their livelihood and income, and the need to vaccinate themselves to ensure they don’t get infected,” Concepcion said.

“One effective way to address both is to ensure that everyone eligible gets vaccinated as soon as possible,” he added.

According to the Department of Health tracker, 450,711 vaccine doses are being administered daily.

This number is expected to rise in the coming weeks as more vaccines are delivered and become available to the public.

The Philippines has received over 53 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines since February.

A million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech were also due to arrive Friday afternoon.

At least 54.5 million doses are expected to be delivered within September and October, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

Galvez said 80 percent of the newly arrived AstraZeneca vaccine will be distributed to economic frontliners through local government units, and 20 percent would be for use by the private sector.

The government has reported that more than 15.8 million individuals in the country have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

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