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Vaccination of workers key to economy’s full reopening

/ 05:12 AM April 29, 2021

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion stressed the importance of inoculating workers in the full reopening of the economy, although he stopped short of saying he would support a proposal in Congress to make vaccination mandatory. This was in light of a bill in the House of Representative seeking to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory. For Concepcion, the government needs to encourage the public to take the vaccine. “Let’s not wait for a legislation that will make vaccines mandatory,” said Concepcion in a statement on Wednesday. “But it will come to that point if the turnout is poor.”

Concepcion appealed to the Department of Labor and Employment to take a stronger stance and enjoin the workers to take the vaccine seriously. “We expect the vaccines to be here by June, and if that happens and the turnout is still low, I don’t think we will be able to win this battle,” he said.

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Concepcion is currently leading “A Dose of Hope initiative,” a move that began with the private sector, but later included local government units (LGUs) that also wanted to order AstraZeneca vaccines. About 17 million doses have been ordered and paid for by the private sector and LGUs so far. The first batch of these vaccines—or more than 2 million doses—is expected to arrive in June, although Concepcion earlier said they would arrive sometime in May.

Concepcion also emphasized the role of supervisors in convincing rank-and-file to get themselves inoculated against COVID-19. “[Employers] can only do so much. We want the employees to support this. We cannot solve the problem if the employers are doing their best but the employees are not supporting it,” he said.“Vaccination is the only way we can get through this pandemic,” he said, “And vaccinating the employed sector will expedite the country’s return to economic recovery.”

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