Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday welcomed the Department of Health’s (DOH) decision to allow fully vaccinated healthcare workers to avail themselves of COVID-19 booster shots.
“This will go a long way in protecting not just healthcare workers but all Filipinos from COVID-19. We can also say that it is a booster shot to the economy because we can open up businesses and more people can go back to work,” Cayetano said in a statement on November 16, 2021.
The DOH had announced on Monday that all fully vaccinated healthcare workers may avail themselves of booster doses starting Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
“Based on the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the FDA, the DOH recommends using either Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinovac as booster doses regardless of the brand used for the primary series,” the DOH said in its announcement.
Sinovac will also be offered as a booster for those that had Sinovac as primary series, it added.
Cayetano said giving booster shots to healthcare workers “will allow them to continue taking care of Filipinos who require medical attention from COVID and non-COVID diseases and shield us from a possible collapse of the healthcare system.”
“We are thankful for our frontliners and what they do because it requires a lot of sacrifice. But being thankful needs to be backed by actions that will support them. We need our frontliners and we cannot afford their shortage,” he added.
The DOH announcement came two months after the Cayetano and his allies in Congress filed House Joint Resolution No. 40 which strongly urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to provide booster/additional shots to health care workers and the immunocompromised.
“It is vital to protect our healthcare workers, so that they may, in turn, take care of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. With hundreds of hospitals in the country nearing full capacity and our healthcare workers having to attend to more patients and extending working hours as a result of recent rise in positive cases, we cannot afford a further shortage of our health manpower as a result of our healthcare workers being infected with the virus,” the resolution said.
The resolution was signed by Cayetano, Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano, ANAKALUSUGAN Party-list Rep. Michael Defensor, Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez, Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu, and Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio “Kuya” Sy-Alvarado.
In an earlier statement, the group said many of the country’s healthcare workers are “growing tired.”
“Hindi natin sila masisisi kung iisipin nilang mangibang-bayan dahil mas malaki ang sahod doon at tila mas pinapahalagahan ang kanilang propesyon. Kailangang bukas lagi ang pamahalaan para makinig sa kanilang mga hinaing,” the group said.
(We can’t blame them if they are considering working abroad where the pay is higher and their profession is given due importance ce. The government must keep the lines of communication open to listen to their complaints.)