AS global debates continue over the efficacy rates of the newly-developed Covid-19 vaccines, the rollout of vaccinations all over the country has slowly been moving forward. While at a turtle pace in some corners of the country, some other local governments like Baguio have been aggressive enough in convincing residents to get the jab.
On Thursday, I had my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Full disclosure, I got Sinovac. While many people might be hesitant in getting the China-made vaccine as compared with other brands from Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, I always believe that the best vaccine is the one that is available. My 73-year-old father had AstraZeneca as our local government set aside this particular brand for those above 60 years old.
Here in Bacolod City where I have been a resident for over five years now, the vaccine rollout for the most part has been organized. Vaccination centers were done in barangay clusters and people are scheduled based on online registration just like how Baguio would probably schedule theirs via the bakuna.baguio.gov.ph portal. I was assigned to a vaccination center inside a mall so the air-conditioned space was a respite for the senior citizens and those with comorbidities like me as we no longer had to endure the lowland heat in gyms and covered courts for several hours. I was categorized under the A3 Priority Group due to my Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension.
The whole vaccination process took around two hours from queuing, screening, and the actual jab. My anxiety from getting hospitalized from Covid-19 has been lessened a bit. I know that health protocols of wearing a face mask and maintaining physical distance remain after vaccination. Although I am fully aware that vaccines are not a guarantee of not getting the virus, I always believe in the science and studies saying that the risks of getting severe Covid-19 and hospitalized will be minimized if not eliminated by vaccination.
But let’s not dwell on the Good Jab vs Bad Jab argument. I am here to discuss the other perks of vaccination that I recently discovered. I came across a Rappler article discussing the benefits of getting the jab. So I got more curious and after a few clicks online, I got to visit the Ingat Angat website. Ingat Angat is a private sector-led campaign that aims to re-start the Philippine economy by empowering Filipinos with vigilance by promoting health and safety protocols and by encouraging people to get the jab.
So far, over 180+ establishments (mostly Philippine fast-food chains and restaurants) have already joined the Ingat Angat program to provide Bakuna Benefits. Simply present your vaccination cards to the establishments and you’ll get discounts, freebies, and other incentives after completing your second dose of the DOH and FDA-approved vaccines.
Now, most of you may be asking what those benefits are. Some of the Bakuna Benefits from Ingat Angat include getting a 10 to 20 percent discount in over 180 restaurants and stores. In some restaurants, you get a free drink, a dessert, or meal upsize; in other establishments, you get a Buy 1 and Get 1 offer for their most popular products.
As for me, right after vaccination, I availed of the Buy 1 Get 1 promo of a popular milk tea shop. I considered it a treat for a jab well done. After all, I have not experienced any side effects from my vaccination. Just right after getting my second dose, I also availed myself of the free lamination service at National Bookstore. NBS will laminate your vaccination card for free plus you also get a 10 percent Off Voucher (Capped to PhP100 discount at No Minimum Spend). What a good deal!
In a popular fast-food chain recently embroiled in a viral fried towel controversy, I was given a 10 percent discount just by showing them my vaccination card. Now I get why senior citizens like my dad would always love to flash his senior card at the cashier of this fast-food joint.
While writing this column, I am enjoying my free cup of coffee courtesy of another popular Visayas-based coffee chain just by presenting my vaccination card. This afternoon, I am planning to treat myself to a free original glazed donut by simply showing my vaccination card and ordering a drink. Now what I am saying is, imagine that you are also helping the economy by being vaccinated. You buy and help the store that has been struggling during the pandemic and the store also gives you benefits of discounts and freebies whenever you show them your vaccination card. Go ahead and check out your Bakuna Benefits at www.ingat-angat.com/benefits.
Now my only hope is that local restaurants in my current city and even Baguio, that are probably more affected by the pandemic, would offer the same Bakuna Benefits. These local groceries, restaurants, shops, and service-oriented establishments were the most affected during the pandemic. How many of our most loved coffee shops, restaurants, specialty stores, and service-oriented establishments have closed down permanently during the longest lockdown in the world?
For those local establishments that have survived or are barely surviving, a little bit of patronage will be a big help not only for business owners but also for their employees who have suffered reduced salaries and work hours during this time. But a challenge for local businesses, maybe few vaccination perks could at least help jumpstart the ailing local economy? I want to see more local businesses offering discounts and freebies to vaccinated Baguio city residents. Imagine this, you are helping in the effort of encouraging people to get vaccinated and also encouraging residents to finally have the courage to go back and dine inside your restaurants again. Is everyone up to the challenge? If you do, you don’t only promote a good jab but are also doing a good job. Happy Weekend!