Vaccine Confidence: Preparing For And Winning The War Against COVID-19

The light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight. After more than 10 months of the darkest period in our history, the entire world is now preparing for the ultimate weapon in this global pandemic. Finally, winning the war against COVID-19, which killed millions of lives across the globe, is now within reach.

Since the beginning of the lockdown, the private sector has stepped up together with the government to work hand-in-hand in this global crisis. Go Negosyo has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, from testing innovations up to securing as much vaccine doses to accelerate and help the economy recover. We are doing everything that we can to secure enough doses of vaccines to ensure a faster recovery of our economy. All of these we do as we prepare for this war.

But how do we prepare for a war? With the announcement that the vaccines from the World Health Organization, through the COVAX facility, will come mid-February and be rolled out a week after, we are seeing a bright sight for the country in terms of getting back and eventually winning the war against COVID-19. This will be the first wave of our inoculation and it will be focused on our medical frontliners, who are the most vulnerable at this time of the pandemic. At this stage, we are in the process of securing our armaments for this war and strengthening our best soldiers.

Also in the second quarter of this year, we are expecting 2.8 million doses of AZ vaccines for our “economic frontliners” through the effort of the private sector through the ‘A Dose of Hope’ program. Hopefully, this effort will add value to the government’s National Immunization Program. So, at this stage, we are stockpiling our weaponry because we can never be too sure when in a war.

Equally important in our preparation to win this war is mind-setting our confidence in the vaccine. We must ensure that our soldiers will take on this battle with their whole heart and with a united purpose. As we remember, initially, the vaccine was only meant for the rank and file and did not include the managers and executives of the organizations and companies. While this was a policy that is created with a noble intention and vision of prioritizing the people at the frontline, it was something that many employees found questionable, so many rejected the idea. It was something that was received negatively because, on our employees’ part, they think that they are being used as guinea pigs for the vaccine. So hearing our soldiers out, we decided to go with them into the battlefield, arm-in-arm against the enemy. Supervisors, managers, executives, and CEOs will now take the vaccine with their employees.

COVID-19 is a tough enemy and we must not stop until we have secured enough artillery to secure our victory. That’s why we are still in talks with other vaccine manufacturers as the vaccine is the only way to win this war and attain full economic recovery.

Now the task is on us, on every qualified Filipino. Like in a war, we are soldiers under the call of duty to serve the country. This pandemic is a war against COVID-19 and for us to beat COVID-19, we must take the vaccines – to protect ourselves and the people around us. We must reach a certain percentage required for us to achieve herd immunity in the future. If we are not able to vaccinate the population necessary to achieve this, our economy will continue to fail, leaving more people out of jobs, and with livelihoods never coming back soon – we will lose both lives and livelihoods in the process.

We would not allow this. That’s why we have taken the initiative and I encouraged Secretary Galvez to include us, the top management, in the vaccination. In this way, we hope that we can increase vaccine confidence as our goal really is to win this war and save both lives and livelihoods in the process.