Fully vaccinated tourism workers will now receive booster shots as an added protection against the heightened threat of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in the country, The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced.
The Department also said that most regions have already attained above 90% vaccination rates among active and eligible tourism workers.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat disclosed that tourism workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Boracay Island are now receiving their booster Covid-19 shots.
Eventually, booster shots drive for tourism workers will also be rolled out in other tourism destinations like Baguio City and Davao.
"We are glad to see the willingness of our tourism workers to get vaccinated grow over the past few months. We continue to encourage them to avail themselves of the free vaccine as this is a critical component for the industry to rebound and thrive in the new normal," Puyat said.
Based on the DOT NCR Office data, 50% or 12,693 out of the region's 25,386 hotel workers have already received their booster shots.
Meanwhile, in Boracay alone, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) committed to allocate 20,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses for the Island's tourism workers' booster shots.
As of the end of 2021, a total of 282,780 individuals, or 88.38% of the country's initial target population of 325,489 tourism workers from various tourism-related industries, have already been inoculated against Covid-19, leaving only 12.17% or 38,931 individuals who have yet to receive their first dose.
Puyat said those vaccinated workers are employed in accommodation establishments temporarily operating as isolation/quarantine facilities, regular hotels, tourism enterprises, tourism support services (TSS), and community-based tourism organizations (CBTOs).
Meanwhile, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) registered the highest vaccination rate of tourism workers, with 104.24%.
The region had completed the vaccination of its 12,019 target tourism workers but managed to inoculate a total of 12,485 workers, which includes some individuals who acquired new jobs after the initial count.
CAR is followed by NCR with 99.89% or 44,186 of the region's 44,234 initial target tourism workers.
Also registering high rates of vaccination are: Davao Region (99.11 %); Central Luzon (98.91%); Northern Mindanao (98.48%); Bicol Region (95.49%); Eastern Visayas (94.04%); SOCCSKSARGEN (91.89%); and Central Visayas (90.98%).