VACCINATION FOR RECOVERY. Cebu Chamber of Commerce Industry (CCCI) president Felix Taguiam (right) in a meeting with Inter-Agency Task Force chief implementer Roy Cimatu. Taguiam on Thursday (Feb. 11, 2021) expressed his confidence on the vaccination drive even amid the people's misconceptions and apprehensions. (PNA file photo by Minerva Newman)

CEBU CITY – The Cebu Chamber of Commerce Industry (CCCI) has expressed its support to the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination program, as it is the key to the country’s full economic recovery. 
 
CCCI president Felix Taguiam on Thursday expressed his confidence on the vaccination drive even amid the misconceptions and apprehensions of people on getting vaccinated.
 
He said vaccination is crucial for the economy’s full recovery moving forward.
 
“It is better to get vaccinated than no vaccine at all. We need it to move forward. We can’t stop anymore. The word lockdown is already allergic to us, businesses. It’s costing us money,” he said. 
 
He said they have encouraged the member companies of CCCI to set aside a budget for the vaccination of their employees if they can.
 
The business leader was confident about the vaccination plan of the national government which aims to vaccinate about 60 million Filipinos. 
 
“We are confident that the city and provincial governments are preparing for the vaccine rollout here,” Taguiam said. 
 
The role of vaccination in economic recovery was echoed by Maria Sostheleen Padilla, officer-in-charge assistant regional head of the National Economic and Development Authority in Central Visayas.
 
She said vaccination is essential to restore consumer confidence which is needed to pump-prime the economy. 
 
“What we need to restore now is confidence in consumption. We need to move both sides, the supply and demand side, to pick up. And vaccination is what we need to improve confidence,” she said in a virtual interview here. 
 
While most people have started to live with the virus in terms of wearing a mask and observing physical distancing, Padilla said vaccination is a crucial step to “further enhance consumer confidence” as the economy continues to recover. 
 
The Duterte administration has committed to use PHP73.2 billion worth of loans to buy Covid-19 vaccines for about 60 million Filipinos.
 
The Philippines is expecting the arrival of initial 117,000 Pfizer vaccines from the COVAX Facility by the second or third week of February, according to the Department of Health. 
 
Preparations have been ongoing to ensure the smooth and efficient vaccine distribution once the vaccines are delivered.
 
A vaccine rollout simulation exercise was done in Cebu last Tuesday to prepare the province for the eventual arrival of vaccines early this year. 
 
An estimated five to nine million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines are also expected to arrive in the country by the second quarter of this year from the COVAX Facility. (PNA)