NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
With the arrival of 5,000 doses of Gamaleya’s Sputnik vaccine against the coronavirus which causes disease or death, Bohol has applied for the accreditation of four vaccination sites for the upcoming vaccination of tourism services front liners.
Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force(BIATF) on the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases spokesperson Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez bared this at the weekly Kapihansa PIA, Thursday.
It may be recalled that with Bohol’s main economic driver slumped by the pandemic, and with countless attempts to revive and reopen the industry with barely any effect, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap has requested vaccine czar Carlito Galvez and the Department of Tourism (DOT) to allocate vaccines for Bohol’s frontline tourism industry.
Last June 16, a few days after an online tourism forum attended by tourism stakeholders and Bohol local officials, when tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced that 5,000 Sputnik vaccines have been allocated for Bohol’s tourism workers, Bohol responded by applying for accreditation of four vaccination sites, all in Panglao.
According to Dr. Lopez, the province of Bohol has successfully applied for the Department of Health accreditation of Bellevue Hotel in Alona, Modala Resort Hotel in Doljo, Bohol Beach Club in Bolod and Mithi Resort and Spa in Biking Dauis.
The DOH is also responsible to check that proposed vaccination sites are accessible and has the right infrastructure as well as space to allow the congregation of people but yet implement social distancing.
As to the case of Sputnik vaccines, according to Dr. Lopez, while the vaccine may not need the extreme temperatures of other vaccines that need ultra-cold temperature freezers, Gamaleya’s Sputnik needs an atmosphere much colder than the ordinary household fridge can offer, Dr. Lopez explained.
As early as June 3, the DOT in Region 7 has issued an advisory to frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishments regarding the vaccination program for tourism front liners.
In his Regional Advisory No 22, series of 2021, DOT Regional Director Shalimar Hofer Tamano has informed these specific tourism stakeholders of the IATF Resolution No. 110 series of 2021 which provides for the inclusion of tourism frontline service personnel in the priority population Group A for vaccination against COVID 19.
The said IATF Resolution states that tourism frontline workers in the hotels and accommodation establishments are eligible under the A4-6 priority group.
At this, the DOT-7 informs all establishments in Central Visayas to coordinate with their respective local government units on the pre-registration and immunization program’s vaccination schedules.
On the other hand, Senator Dick Gordon, who spoke during the 2nd Panglao International Dive Fiesta, urges every one of Bohol’s tourism frontline service worker to get vaccinated, and tested at least.
“Therefore, get vaccinated so the tourists can come there, get tested that by then, the people who come to Bohol are safe and you and your families are protected,” Sen Gordon said. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)