Seafarers to get one-dose vaccine jabs
MANILA – National Task Force chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. today said seafarers will receive one-dose vaccines to immediately qualify them for travel to their workplaces.
Speaking at the Malacañang Press Briefing hosted by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Mr. Galvez said they discussed the concerns raised by seafarers and MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert A. Empedrad and other overseas Filipino workers regarding preferred vaccines by their respective employers.
“We were told of the seafarers’ plight who may have to leave soonest but would require vaccines so the single-dose vaccines from J & J will be the most convenient for them. We have also been informed Gamaleya Research will also release its Sputnik Light COVID-19 single-dose vaccine and would apply for Emergency Use Authority with the FDA,” Secretary Galvez said.
He added China’s Cansino will also have its single-dose vaccine.
Secretary Galvez said they will use western-made vaccines on seafarers and other overseas Filipino workers whose host countries have expressed specific preferred vaccines for their migrant workers.
An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Filipino seafarers leave for abroad every month.
In a related development, Secretary Roque said a small group has been formed to formulate recommendations on protocols for returning overseas Filipino workers who have completed their vaccination in their respective countries of origin.
It will be recalled the Philippines requires the mandatory ten-day quarantine for returning overseas workers and after several days, they would be subjected to PCR tests. Should they turn out negative, they will still be required home quarantine for a couple of days.
Filipino workers have aired concern they would be spending more time in quarantine rather than their families despite the fact they have been inoculated prior to their travel to the country.
“The group is scheduled to report to the IATF during its next meeting their recommendations,” he added.
Meanwhile, with the latest quarantine protocols for the first semester of June, Secretary Roque said interzonal travel will now be allowed. Travelers will have to undergo tests and need to find out the protocols observed by the receiving local government units.
“They must have point-to-point travel arrangements,” Secretary Roque concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)