QUEZON City Mayor Josefina “Joy” Belmonte said on Thursday that the management of the Smart Araneta Coliseum, also known as the “Big Dome” has offered to the local government to transform it into a mega vaccination site for free.

She said the Araneta Group has offered the use of its facility in solidarity with the city government’s goal of rolling out coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines to priority groups faster.

“We estimate that the Big Dome will be capable of delivering 1,000 to 1,500 Covid shots per day,” said Belmonte as she added that inoculations are expected to begin there on Saturday.

Measures for indoor settings such as proper filters and fan systems for adequate ventilation will be installed to ensure the safety of everyone planning to get their jabs at the Big Dome.

“The city government is grateful to the Araneta Group for offering the Big Dome to this program for free. It is a suitable site for a massive and critical government health drive since it offers adequate space and accessibility to both our healthcare workers and the public,” Belmonte said.

“This will help us strengthen our efforts to provide our ‘QCitizens’ the protection they need against Covid-19. The faster we vaccinate our people, the sooner we can achieve economic recovery,” according to the city chief executive.

The Araneta Group also committed to provide their own medical personnel who will help inoculate people 60 years and older and individuals with serious health conditions or those belonging to A1 to A3 priority groups, Business Permits and Licensing Department head Margie Santos said.

“We’re grateful to our partners in the private sector as they continue to work with us in order to provide us with spacious and comfortable venues and to augment our manpower resources,” Santos said.

She added that the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation Philippines, a non-profit charitable organization, is also helping by sending their volunteer doctors, nurses, and staff to Quezon City vaccination sites.

Belmonte said she looks forward to the success of this partnership similar to the partnerships crafted previously as “we need an all-of-city approach to overcome Covid-19 and ensure the speedy recovery of our economy.”

The city government had partnered with the Araneta Group in expanding its free Covid-19 swab testing initiatives.

It also allowed the free use of the Araneta City BusPort as an accessible site for the drive-thru Covid-19 RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) saliva testing of the Philippine Red Cross.

“We are very pleased to accommodate the Quezon City government’s vaccination campaign inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This is our contribution to the government’s efforts to control the surge of Covid-19 cases in the city and to improve public health,” according to Antonio Mardo, senior vice president for operations of the Araneta Group.

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