While it is easy to thank and congratulate medical frontliners for the hard work they have been doing during the pandemic, Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano said it is not enough if it is not accompanied by benefits and initiatives.
“Pag binabanggit ang National Heroes Day, ang unang pumapasok sa isipan nating lahat ay ang ating medical frontliners,” Cayetano said in an interview with DYME Masbate on August 27, 2021, three days before the celebration of National Heroes Day.
(When we talk about National Heroes Day, the first thing that comes to our minds is our medical frontliners.)
“Mula sa mga doktor, nurses, at barangay health workers natin, sila ang ating pasasalamatan. Hindi tayo makakatawid sa pandemyang ito at hindi natin maabot ang puntong ito kung hindi dahil sa dedication at sakripisyo nilang lahat,” she said.
(From our doctors, nurses and barangay health workers, we should thank them. We could not have gone through this pandemic and we would not have reached this point if not for their dedication and sacrifice.)
Cayetano said one of the ways the country can show its gratitude is by giving an booster/additional vaccine shot to frontline health workers.
She and former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, as well as their allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso, had urged the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to administer booster/additional shots to frontline health workers and immunocompromised individuals in view of their “high risk of exposure and distinct vulnerability” to the novel coronavirus.
In a letter to the IATF dated August 20, 2021, the group said the country needs to provide additional protection to the most vulnerable and to those who are fighting the pandemic amid the rising number of infections due to the emerging strains such as the Delta variant.
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The congresswoman, however, said it may not be possible to give the additional shot immediately.
“Ang booster shot ay ginagawa na sa ibang bansa. Sa Pilipinas hindi natin magawa agad ‘yan kasi hindi pa nga bakunado ang lahat ng populasyon or lahat ng Filipino,” Cayetano said in her radio interview.
(Booster shots are already being given in other countries. In the Philippines we can’t do that right away because not all Filipinos have been vaccinated yet.)###