OUTSOURCING firm Concentrix Philippines plans to offer coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccinations to its 100,000 staff nationwide.

The company has put in an initial order of 50,000 doses from pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, half of which will be donated to priority sectors identified by the government.

The AstraZeneca vaccine was found to have an efficacy rate as high as 90% in a smaller trial group that initially received half a dose, but as low as 62% among the majority given two full shots.

Private companies and local government units have signed an agreement to secure 17 million doses from the drugmaker as the Philippines tries to get 148 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate 50-70 million Filipinos this year.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) was one of the sectors allowed to have limited office operations during the stricter lockdown that started in March, provided that the companies apply social distancing measures and provide temporary accommodation.

“We will have it as soon as the Philippine government authorities are able to get it into the country,” Concentrix Senior Vice-President and Philippines Country Leader Amit Jagga said in a statement on Tuesday.

“As other vaccines are approved and as we get access to them, we are committed to continue to provide them for free to our staff.”

Alorica Philippines, another outsourcing firm, is ordering 80,000 doses for its employees and other Filipinos.

The Trade department said that it was gathering information from various groups like small and medium-sized enterprises that want to buy vaccines so that their requirements can be included among government orders. — Jenina P. Ibañez