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As long Covid looms as a threat to productivity among workers, Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion reiterated his call to pharmaceutical companies to apply for Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) for Covid-19 bivalent vaccines.
This follows as infectious disease specialist Dr. Rontgene Solante warned of the dangers of long Covid, which presents lingering effects of the disease long after an individual has been infected with Covid-19. Dr. Solante was the resource speaker during Monday’s Covid-19 Town Hall, “Minimizing Business Disruptions Through COVID-19 Booster Vaccination” which was organized by Go Negosyo in partnership with AstraZeneca.
“You can just imagine an individual who is in the frontline of your workplace and will have brain fog and memory loss. That’s something that will be a disadvantage to the company,” Dr. Solante said, adding that long Covid is unique to the SARS-CoV2 virus, which causes Covid-19. Booster doses can help prevent other complications of the virus, especially long Covid, which has affected a significant percentage of people who have had Covid-19.
For his part, Concepcion appealed to vaccine manufacturers to already apply for the CPRs. “We must remember that the country is no longer under a state of public health emergency, so we cannot import Covid-19 vaccines through Emergency Use Authorization anymore,” said Concepcion, who also leads the Jobs group of the Private Sector Advisory Council.
During the townhall meeting, Dr. Solante underscored the importance of workers receiving booster doses as it will help protect them from a severe version of the virus and allow them to continue helping the economy.
“It’s very difficult to build a population wall of immunity in the community,” he said. “At least in your workplace, if all of you are vaccinated, if all people are boostered, then you have a lower risk of higher absenteeism and loss of productivity,” he said.
“Imagine in a company where you have an individual who developed a mild infection but long Covid was there. The co-morbidities are amplified, uncontrolled hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes. That’s something that really will be a burden of the infection in terms of productivity,” he said.
Concepcion hopes that the Covid vaccine will eventually be commercially available just like the vaccines for pneumonia, the flu and shingles. “The way forward for the country to obtain needed bivalent vaccines for booster shots is for pharmaceutical firms to apply for CPR. They cannot permanently rely on the government for indemnification from adverse reactions,” Concepcion said.
Following President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision to not extend the state of emergency, which expired last Dec. 31, 2022, Covid-19 vaccines may only be obtained and made available to the public through CPR.