Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday announced the city government’s partnership with retail giant SM supermalls in the city’s vaccination rollout by putting together its own team of doctors and nurses to help inoculate senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities.

“The city has had numerous partnerships with the private sector throughout the pandemic, and we’re glad to be working with them still as we vaccinate our residents and immunize them against coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19],” she said.

The partnership would address the lack of available healthcare workers who would conduct the vaccination among residents.

“We have agreed that their own medical team can give the shots to qualified SM employees who reside in QC, provided that it will be supervised by our City Health Department.”

On April 12, the city opened a vaccination site at the Skydome of SM City North Edsa to cater to mall employees residing in the city and are medical frontliners, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities aged 18 to 59, or those who fall under A1 to A3 categories, respectively.

Margie Santos, Business Permits and Licensing Department chief, said the move would also help boost the economy as frontline workers, such as those who work at malls and supermarkets, would get vaccinated faster.

“There are close to 16,000 SM employees who work and reside in the city and are qualified to get the vaccine. By teaming up with their employer SM, we can be assured that all of them will be vaccinated, protecting not just the employees but also the families they go home to after work.

We really appreciate SM and other private sector partners for lending us a hand amid manpower crunch,” she said.

More vaccination sites are expected to be opened in several other branches of SM malls within the city to cover the target employee population.

According to Belmonte, the city is also currently in talks with other private sector groups, such as Robinsons Malls, Ayala Malls, Araneta City, Eastwood Mall and the IT and BPO sector.

Source: Manila Standard