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News > SMPC boosts Semirara Island’s COVID-19 vax program

SMPC boosts Semirara Island’s COVID-19 vax program

SEMIRARA Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) is working closely with the Municipality of Caluya and Province of Antique to accelerate the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination rollout in Semirara Island.

Aside from providing free air transportation and storage of the vaccines in Semirara Island, SMPC is extending free accommodations to the Antique Provincial Health Office and Municipal Health Office (MHO) medical teams who will be administering the jabs.

As of July 31, over 2,300 residents and SMPC employees – roughly 47 percent of the island’s eligible population – have been fully inoculated with doses of CoronaVac (Sinovac), Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccines, according to the Caluya MHO.

“Our partnership with SMPC is critical to reaching our vaccination target. Having them as our logistics partner gives us confidence that we can attain population protection soon,” said Caluya mayor Rigil Kent Lim.

SMPC has volunteered free use of its 2,900-square meter food court for the local government unit’s (LGU) vaccination drive on the island. The property can accommodate up to 200 vaccinees per day with proper physical distancing protocols.

Unused vials are temporarily stored in the SMPC Infirmary pharmacy refrigerator to avoid wastage and reduction of vaccine potency.

SMPC also donates 3,000 vials of AstraZeneca vaccines to the Caluya LGU to further expand its inoculation program. The vaccines are expected to arrive by the fourth quarter of this year.

In April, SMPC donated 3,000 rapid antigen test kits to the Antique provincial government to aid its mass testing program. Around P400,000 worth of medical personal protective equipment was also provided by the company to local frontliners in Semirara Island and other islands of the Caluya municipality, including the Justice Calixto Zaldivar Memorial Hospital in Pandan, Antique.

“The Provincial Government and the Inter-Agency Task Force are motivated and grateful to the significant support of [SMPC] as we continue to implement rigid measures to control COVID-19 transmission in our communities,” said Antique’s Gov. Rhodora Cadiao.

As the island’s largest employer with over 3,000 resident workers and indirect workers employed, SMPC operates and maintains the only Department of Health-accredited private infirmary which provides basic COVID-19 medical care, as needed by the community.

To enhance the island’s COVID-19 containment measures, SMPC also repurposed its sports complex and gym into a 352-bed quarantine facility for employees and residents.

SMPC is the only power producer in the country that owns and mines its fuel source, allowing it to generate affordable and reliable baseload power for the Luzon and Visayas grids.

Source: Panay News