By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Canadian Inquirer

The Philippines’ coronavirus vaccination managers should exempt Overseas Filipino Workers from getting vaccinated with a jab developed by China, a representative of the OFW organization said.

During the hearing presided by the House Committee on Overseas Filipino Affairs, Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc. President Raquel Bracero made the call after reports of 100 health workers from Indonesia getting infected with COVID-19 despite being vaccinated with a vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech. 12 of the infected individuals were reportedly under hospitalization.

“We cannot deny the fact that not all vaccine brands are created equal. There are certain brands that are not preferred,” said Bracero.

She noted that western brands are the most preferred by host countries, particularly from the Middle East and European countries.

“May we raise our concern with regards to the vaccine preference which are limited to Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca,” Bracero said.

Bracero added that those who received Chinese vaccines are required to undergo a 21-day isolation period while those who received preferred brands are directly permitted to proceed to their respective workplaces.

“Inasmuch as we want them vaccinated with Sinovac, parang hindi pa rin sila vaccinated,” she lamented.

In response, Department of Health (DOH)-Migrant Health Unit chief Dr. Joel Buenaventura assured that the concerns voiced by land-based overseas Filipinos are being addressed by the authorities even if the whole vaccination process is “quite complicated.”

Report source: Manila Bulletin