The “Pharmacy and Drive-thru Vaccination Sites,” one of the national government’s initiatives, would significantly contribute to the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) preparations for the country’s eventual reopening, Tourism Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat said.
The tourism chief said this would ensure that tourism workers and tourists are protected against Covid-19.
The program was launched in the country’s summer capital, Baguio City and it was attended by Puyat, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Testing Czar Secretary Vince Dizon, Congressman Mark Go, and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
“Now that we are battling an Omicron surge, we are trying to get ahead of it outside NCR by making booster shots as convenient as possible for everyone,” Puyat said.
“There is no longer a need to join a long queue at a centralized vaccination site. Just come by the participating pharmacies like Watsons or Mercury Drugstore and get a free booster shot while you buy your necessities.”
Tourists visiting Baguio City also have the privilege to obtain their COVID-19 booster shots at Watson’s Pharmacy and Mercury Drug, and both vaccination and booster shots at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.
“We look forward to seeing this initiative implemented in other parts of the country in the coming weeks,” Puyat said.
She also commended Mayor Magalong and Baguio City officials for their successful efforts to vaccinate the city’s residents, particularly its tourism workers. “Congratulations for your hard work in protecting the lifeblood of our industry,” tourism chief stated.
So far, Baguio City has vaccinated 100% of its tourism staff in hotels and other tourism-related enterprises, covering a total of 10,305 workers. Meanwhile, as of 21 January 2022, 97% percent of Baguio City’s eligible adult population of 281,000 has been fully vaccinated.
Baguio City is open to visitors, but guests shall be required to present a negative result of an RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test conducted within 72 hours and 24 hours before arrival, respectively.
Travel companions who are 12 to 17 years old are also covered by the same requirement, with the option to undergo testing procedures once in the city.