SAN MIGUEL Corporation’s (SMC) employee doctors and nurses have helped administer over 55,000 COVID-19 vaccination shots throughout Metro Manila, as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to help in the government’s vaccination rollout.
From 19 doctors and nurses deployed initially last April 26, the company has now activated and deployed over 100 healthcare personnel to 11 vac-cination sites, including the Mandaluyong City Hall, Pedro P. Cruz Elementary School, Isaac Lopez Integrated School, Andres Bonifacio Integrated School, and Hulo Elementary School in Mandaluyong City; Potrero Elementary School, Malabon Elementary School, Ninoy Aquino Elementary School, and Epifanio Delos Santos Elementary School in Malabon, and Pinyahan Elementary School, and Ateneo de Manila Grade School, in Quezon City.
The 100 healthcare personnel are part of 300 medical professionals SMC is looking to hire, to support the continuous and efficient implementation of government’s vaccination program and help implement the company’s own free vaccination program for its employees nationwide, when vaccines ordered by the private sector become available.
“Right now, apart from availability of vaccines, another issue that’s hindering the faster and wider rollout of government’s vaccination program–done through our local government units–is the shortage of medical personnel to administer the vaccines,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.
“One of the practical ways we thought we could help address this is by hiring medical professionals ourselves, providing them with good pay, benefits, and deploying them for free to our understaffed LGUs. This way, our LGUs will have all the support they need. We will be deploying more doctors and nurses to other areas in the comings days and weeks,” he added.
Recently, in his first Zoom meeting with the newly-hired medical personnel, Ang, expressed his gratitude for their willingness to serve and be assigned to different locations.
“I am so grateful to our team of doctors and nurses for the sacrifice they are making every single day to give our countrymen protection against the coronavirus, and for helping achieve our goal of ending this pandemic. Despite the long hours and constant risk of exposure, they continue to step up when called on, and show strength throughout these tough times,” he said.
Ang said that the company is set to field medical professionals in the City of Manila next, with ten doctors and nurses initially set to be deployed. More will come later this month, he said.
Earlier this year, SMC became among the first companies to commit to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations to its estimated 70,000 employees and extended workforce. The company will also provide access to vaccines to their families and referred individuals to widen its reach.
“Taking responsibility to get our people, their families, and close circle vaccinated is another way we are supporting the goal of achieving mass immunization and effectively speeding up our economic recovery,” says Ang.
The company has set aside close to P1 billion for the program, with the goal to administer vaccines in various sites across the country.
“Recovery is in sight, but a faster and more effective vaccination rollout throughout the country is critical. For our part, we will continue to support all government efforts and share our resources to help rebuild our economy,” says Ang.
“I also hope our efforts help address vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos and emphasize its key role in allowing us to return to normalcy,” he adds.
Since the start of the pandemic, SMC has played a significant role in the country’s COVID-19 response. To date, the company’s efforts have reached close to P14 billion, representing food and medical donations, continued salaries and payments for all employees and third-party providers, and advance payments to the government to boost coronavirus response.