Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said that the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years old will further push the recovery of the hardest hit sector, noting that the vaccines will boost parents’ confidence to travel safely and make family trips safer and “more fun”.
“It has been embedded in our culture that Filipinos are family-focused travelers. Now that the summer season is fast-approaching, such an initiative is very timely as we push for the full recovery of the tourism sector that has been heavily impacted by the pandemic.”
Puyat made the statement on February 8, during the ceremonial vaccination of the particular population segment at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. The DOT chief, along with National Task Force on COVID-19 (NTF) Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr; Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III; Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista; Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Acting Secretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic; Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Atty. Romando “Don” Artes; Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita “Menchie” Abalos; and SM Supermalls President Mr. Steven Tan took part in the activity.
In her message, Puyat also encouraged parents who prefer travelling with the whole family, to get their kids vaccinated against COVID-19. This, she said, will give the children extra protection from the virus when visiting the country’s tourism destinations, in addition to compliance with the existing health and safety protocols.
“To parents who are still hesitant and have concerns, you can be assured by the fact that over 8 million children around the world have already been safely vaccinated. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children is being monitored very closely and has been proven to be safe and over 90% effective in preventing COVID-19,” said the tourism chief.
“Getting your children vaccinated will give you peace of mind knowing that they have an added layer of protection against the virus as your travel around the country,” added Puyat.