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A total of 258 officials and employees of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City today, 17 June 2021.
According to DOTr Undersecretary for Administrative Service Artemio Tuazon Jr., the inoculation of transportation personnel is in line with the directive of Secretary Art Tugade to vaccinate the majority of the more than 900-workforce of the DOTr.
“Even before the vaccine roll-out for A4 category, matagal nang gusto ni Sec. Art Tugade na mabakunahan lahat ng mga tauhan natin na willing o may gusto. Target natin na mabakunahan ang majority ng DOTr personnel,” Usec. Tuazon said.
To recall, Sec. Tugade has been pushing for the vaccination of Filipinos as he said that the protection of the public against the virus will pave the way for the recovery of the country.
Usec. Tuazon said that around 516 personnel voluntarily registered for the vaccination. However, 23 other employees did not meet the criteria/assessment before the vaccination. The second batch, numbering also 258, will be scheduled for their vaccination early next week after a pre-assessment. 
The DOTr official added that the 516 officials and employees who are willing to be vaccinated are more than half of the total number of DOTr personnel. He further said that some personnel were already vaccinated in their respective local government units.
Based on the record of the DOTr Medical Unit as of today, 282 DOTr personnel have tested positive for the COVID-19 since July 2020. There are now only three (3) active cases; 276 have recovered, and three have (3) died. 
Dr. Rodrigo Camigla noted the decline in the number of personnel infected by the virus. He added that in the last RT-PCR test conducted among personnel, only one (1) tested positive.
DOTr officials who participated and got their jab are Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Paul Yebra, Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Manuel Gonzales, and Assistant Secretary for Planning and Project Development Maria Sheilah Napalang.
Meanwhile, health workers of the East Avenue Medical Center, where the DOTr vaccination was conducted, took the opportunity to thank Sec. Tugade and the DOTr for the Free Ride Program.
“Malaking tulong po sa amin itong libreng sakay, halos P100 ang natitipid ko araw-araw na pamasahe mula Cavite hanggang dito sa trabaho ko sa ospital. Salamat po Sec. Tugade,” said ER Head Nurse Al Yap.
The DOTr implemented the program for health workers and authorized persons outside residence (APORs) to assist them to and from their workplaces amid the pandemic.
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