Retail giant SM to inoculate 150,000 employees vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines – SM Supermalls plans to inoculate 150,000 of its employees against COVID-19 by the end of the year and would donate excess vaccines, its President Steven Tan said on Monday.
He said SM has ordered a total of 600,000 vaccine doses from different drugmakers including Sinovac BioTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna, and would only need 300,000 doses to immunize 150,000 employees.
A “portion” of the vaccine doses will then be donated.
“As soon as it’s available for us, we will start rolling it out. We were a total of 150,000 but I believe we will also be donating a portion of it,” he said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
The SM group would start its vaccination rollout as soon as the vaccines arrive, which are expected by the third quarter of the year.
Tan also said that the portion of the employees willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 rose to 50 to 60 percent from the earlier survey that was only 20 percent.
“Our latest survey early this year, it was only 20 percent. Can you believe it? 20 percent of the population of SM are willing to be vaccinated but through education through telling them why it is important… It has gone up to 50 to 60 percent, it’s really through proper education,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government is still expecting a total of 1.5 million doses of Sinovac and 500,000 doses of Sputnik V from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute by the end of April. – Liezelle Soriano Roy, INQUIRER.net trainee
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