Pres. Duterte Responds To Call Over COVID-19 Brand for Seafarers
DUTERTE – Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gave his decision on the COVID-19 brand to be administered on the Filipino seafarers.
The COVID-19 vaccination is currently ongoing in the Philippines as the national government pushes through to achieve the population protection. The healthcare workers were the first in line to have been vaccinated as they are exposed daily to the threats of the virus.
The families of the healthcare workers and the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are set to fly abroad in the next few months are also among the top priorities now. The vaccination of the senior citizens and those who have co-morbidities have already started as well.
There are different brands of COVID-19 vaccines that arrived in the Philippines. There are the Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Pfizer, and Moderna among others.
Based on a report on ABS-CBN News, a group of healthcare workers and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III appealed to prioritize seafarers when it comes to vaccines from the United States and the United Kingdom.
According to presidential spokesman Harry Roque, western brands of COVID-19 is one of the requirements for seafarers in some countries. He cited that European countries require either Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
“Tutol po ito sa polisiya na walang pilian, pero karamihan po ng mga barko eh nagre-require ng ganitong Western brands,” Roque expressed.
Based on the report, Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the giving of Western brands of COVID-19 vaccines to seafarers. He stressed that it is not a case of giving special treatment to the seafarers or a violation of the “equal protection of the law” as he cited that there are no proofs that one vaccine is superior than the other.
Pres. Duterte ordered vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. to work on the system on how seafarers can line up in the vaccination program of the government. He stressed that Philippines is the next country to China when it comes to nations with the highest numbers of seafarers.
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