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1K seafarers get Pfizer jabs in Taguig

1K seafarers get Pfizer jabs in Taguig
Ferdinand Patinio June 25, 2021

VAX FOR SEAFARERS. A health worker administers Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to Filipino seafarers in celebration of the International Seafarer's Day 2021, at the Lakeshore Trade Center, Barangay Lower Bicutan in Taguig City on Friday (June 25, 2021). At least 1,000 individuals were inoculated with the American-made vaccines during the activity. (PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.)
MANILA – Over 1,000 sea-based workers have been inoculated by the City of Taguig in celebration of International Seafarer's Day on Friday.

The first dose of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines was given to members of the Associated Marine Officers and Seamen's Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) at the vaccination center of the city located at Lakeshore Trade Center in Barangay Lower Bicutan.

Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano welcomed the seafarers from all the other parts of the country and urged them to convince their loved ones, or members of their families especially the senior citizens to get inoculated.

“Getting the vaccine is the key to bring us back to our normal lives. Since you have been inoculated, we have a request from you, please convince your mother and father to also get the vaccine. It’s for your safety and for their safety too,” he said during the program.

He also asked for understanding regarding challenges in the vaccination registration process.

“Please bear with your local government unit, if it’s difficult to apply, we should not give up, just try to apply. If the lines are long, don’t give up, try to fall in line. Our request is to encourage your wife, children aged 18 above, your auntie and uncle, and also our senior citizens,” he added.

On the other hand, National Task Force (NTF) against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon said the sea-based workers are lucky since they are celebrating their day with a gift to themselves by having their first vaccine shots.

“What better way to celebrate the Seafarer’s Day than to start the process from liberating yourself of covid 19 with your first shots of Pfizer vaccine,” he said.

Dizon, also the country's testing czar, added that it was President Rodrigo Duterte that ordered to give Pfizer jabs to seafarers since some countries preferred the said vaccine.

“It is not the seafarers who chose Pfizer. If you will ask them, they will not choose a specific brand as they are ready to get vaccinated with any brand. But the problem is some countries where their ships will be sailing are not accepting at present all vaccine brands. If they were inoculated with the vaccine not preferred by the host countries, they will not be accepted. They will lose their jobs,” he said. “That’s why the President ordered to give the OFWs the vaccine they need for them to be able to return to their work. The vaccines being given to them was upon the directive of the President.”

Sea-based workers Angeline Culalac, 38 from Pampanga, and Rolly Dado, 33 of Baguio City, both received their first doses of vaccines against Covid-19, said they were advised by their respective agencies to go to the vaccination center.

The female OFW will be working on a cruise ship while the seaman, is a waiter also in a luxury cruise line. They are set to board in August. (PNA)