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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Prioritize healthcare workers for COVID-19 vaccines

Prioritize health workers in the vaccine rollout

MANILA – Workers under the NAGKAISA Labor Coalition called on the government to prioritize healthcare workers (HCWs) in the frontlines in the first phase of vaccination as early as possible to prevent the further spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

“HCWs are in the first line of fire, they are the first as risk for exposure to COVID-19 virus, a serious and deadly disease, said Manuel Payao, a registered nurse and Chairperson of the Hospital Unions of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW-Trade Federation 8).

Payao, who is also President of the UERM Employees Association said they work “regularly with or if not proximately to patients or handle material that could spread that infectious virus if we are not careful or accidentally got in touch with it.”

He added it is logical and natural they should get the first appropriate vaccines to reduce the chance they will get or spread that “vaccine-preventable disease.”

Meanwhile, Willy Pulia, President of the Alliance of Filipino Workers-Sentro and nursing aide at the Makati Medical Center said they agree with Albay Rep. Jose Sarte Salceda that it is imperative that healthcare workers be vaccinated as early as possible, as early as this month of January.

Pulia, however, said unionists do not envy the members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) who received China-made Sinopharm vaccine.

Rudy Ladiao, Secretary General of the Unified Filipino Service Workers, supported NAGKAISA’s call and brought the sentiment of the members of the Philippine Chinese General Hospital Employees Association to look into the inoculation of the PSG and some cabinet officials in blatant disregard for the rule of law.

FFW Vice President for Mindanao Aida Brillantes said they welcome Congressman Salceda’s initiative. Her union at the San Pedro Hospital in Davao City wholly support the passage of Salceda’s “Bayanihan sa Bakuna” Act to expedite the procurement, distribution, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

Atty. Sonny Matula, NAGKAISA chair said the government and the employers need to protect healthcare workers, their patients and their family members by inoculating the healthcare workers first. (Melo M. Acuña)

Atty. Sonny Matula. (File Photo/Melo M. Acuna)

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