Villanueva: Honor health workers with more vaccine choices

Published March 2, 2021, 12:31 AM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Joel Villanueva said the government should give health workers more choices of vaccines to receive in honor of their sacrifices and hard work during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sen. Joel Villanueva (Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)

“We can honor them more by providing them with more vaccines to choose from which our government should provide them and our people,” Villanueva said in a statement as the Philippines rolled out the inoculations Monday, March 1, using the China-donated vaccines from Sinovac Biotech.

He said the start of the vaccinations should not only be considered symbolic, but should also start a no-let up, sustained vaccination drive from the government.

“Sa ganun din pong pamamaraan natin mabibigyang parangal at saysay ang matinding sakripisyo ng ating mga medical frontliners (In that way, we can honor and value the sacrifices of our medical frontliners),” he said.

Senator Ralph Recto echoed this, saying the government has the “moral responsibility…to support the continuing heroism of our frontliners with a vaccine offensive”, including augmenting the country’s vaccine supply.

“Hindi lang galing sa isang bansa, pero sa buong mundo (Not only coming from a single country, but around the world). The best vaccines the best human minds had developed,” he said.

Doctors from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) last Saturday expressed their concern over the announcement that the hospital community will be administered the CoronaVac, the vaccines developed by Sinovac.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not recommend the vaccine for health workers exposed to COVID-19 after yielding only a 50.4-percent efficacy rate for the group during the clinical trials in Brazil.

On Monday, PGH director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi was the first to receive a shot of CoronaVac and the first to legally get a COVID-19 jab in the Philippines.