The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Wednesday (January 12) that fully vaccinated tourism workers are now receiving booster shots as additional protection against the increased threat of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the country, with most regions already achieving vaccination rates of more than 90% among active and eligible tourism workers.
“We are pleased to see our tourism workers’ willingness to be immunized grow in recent months.” “We will continue to encourage them to take advantage of the free vaccine because it is a critical component for the industry to recover and thrive in the new normal,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.
The tourism head revealed that tourism workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Boracay Island are now receiving booster COVID-19 shots. Eventually, the booster injections drive for tourism employees would be expanded to other tourist locations such as Baguio City and Davao.
According to the DOT NCR Office, half of the region’s hotel workers, or 12,693, have now received their COVID-19 booster doses. Meanwhile, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) has committed to allocating 20,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses for administration as booster shots to the island’s tourism workers in Boracay alone.
By the end of 2021, 282,780 people, or 88.38 percent of the country’s initial target population of 325,489 tourist employees from various tourism-related industries, had been immunized against COVID-19, leaving only 12.17 percent, or 38,931 people, who had yet to receive their first shot.
According to the tourism chief, the vaccinated personnel is working in temporary isolation/quarantine facilities, conventional hotels, tourism companies, tourism support services (TSS), and community-based tourism groups (CBTOs).
With 104.24 percent, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) had the highest rate of vaccination of tourism employees. The region had finished vaccinating its 12,019 target tourism workers but managed to inoculate a total of 12,485 people, which included some people who got new jobs after the initial count. CAR is followed by NCR, which has 99.89 percent of the region’s 44,234 initial target tourist workers, or 44,186.
Davao Region (99.11 percent), Central Luzon (98.91 percent), Northern Mindanao (98.48 percent), Bicol Region (95.49 percent), Eastern Visayas (94.04 percent), SOCCSKSARGEN (91.89 percent), and Central Visayas also have high immunization rates (90.98 percent).