VP Robredo on COVID vaccination: Prioritize OFWs, decentralize process | Inquirer News
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VP Robredo on COVID vaccination: Prioritize OFWs, decentralize process

/ 11:19 AM October 24, 2021
Photo: Vice President Leni Robredo talks about current issues during the BISErbisyong LENI program on DZXL on Oct. 24

Vice President Leni Robredo discusses COVID-19 vaccination practices and other current issues during the BISErbisyong LENI program on DZXL on Oct. 24

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from healthcare workers and senior citizens, Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday urged the government to prioritize overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the COVID-19 vaccination program and to liberalize and decentralize the immunization process amid reports of vaccines doses either wasted or nearing expiration.

Recently, the government said that COVID-19 vaccine supply in the country is now sufficient, although that it is facing problems with logistics.

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During the BISErbisyong LENI program on DZXL, Robredo said that extra Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which have temperature requirements that other local governments cannot meet, could be used for OFWs.

“Ako lang, ang panawagan sana natin, kung may extrang ganito, i-prioritize na natin una ‘yung seniors kasi marami pa ding seniors ang ‘di pa nababakunahan. Tapos dito sa Manila kung naubos na ‘yung seniors, saka naubos na ‘yung health workers, sana ‘yung mga OFW, halimbawa ‘yung mga seafarers natin, ang dami naghihintay na mabakunahan,” Robredo said.

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(My appeal is that if we have extra vaccines, let us prioritize our seniors first as there are lots of them unvaccinated. Here in Manila, if all seniors and health workers are vaccinated, I hope our OFWs, for example our seafarers [will be prioritized], as many are still waiting to be inoculated.)

japan moderna vaccine

(REUTERS)

“Ito ‘yung tamang bakuna para sa kanila kasi alam mo naman, may ibang mga bansa na may mga brands lang ng bakuna na nire-recognize ‘di ba?,” she added.

(This is the right vaccine for them because there are countries that only recognize these brands.)

The vice president also pushed for the immunization of OFWs who have no deployment dates yet.

“Kasi ngayon, ang tinuturukan pa lang yata karamihan, ‘yung pa-deploy na. Ang problema nung pa-deploy na, syempre, ‘pag first dose mo, maghihintay ka pa ‘di ba? Maghihintay ka pa ng second dose. Sana kahit wala pang date ‘yung pag-deploy sa kanila, i-prioritize na kasi ang problema nga natin ngayon trabaho,” she said.

(Currently, most of those being vaccinated are for deployment. The problem is, they have to wait for their second dose after the first is administered. I hope that even those who re not yet scheduled for deployment be likewise prioritized to better address the employment problem.)

‘Too centralized’

According to Robredo, vaccination should be liberalized, saying her office has volunteers to administer the vaccines.

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“Ang daming bakuna ngayon pero masyado kasing centralized. Sana mas i-liberalize nila ‘yung mga kumpanya para mabakunahan na nila ‘yung kanilang mga employees, sige na. ‘Yung mga teachers na babalik sa paaralan, ‘yung mga kailangan nang bumalik sa trabaho, kailangang ma-deploy ulit, sana ayusin na ‘yun,” Robredo said.

 (There are many vaccines now but it is very centralized. I hope they liberalize, so that companies can vaccinate their employees. The teachers going back to school, those who are returning work, those needed to be deployed anew, I hope this could be fixed.)

As of October 19, around 24 million individuals are fully vaccinated in the Philippines.

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TAGS: COVID-19, Leni Robredo, OFW, Overseas Filipino Workers, vaccine
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