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Davao City, Philippines

Davao City readies express lane for OFW vaccination

July 28, 2021 - Wednesday 8:07 PM by Davao City Information Office

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The City Government of Davao will set up an express lane vaccination for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), which will be operational by the second or third week of August.

Davao City COVID-19 Task Force Spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser bared this during the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) COVID-19 Alert program aired on Wednesday, July 28.

"Naa koy good news for OFWs! Ang OFW naa tay express lane (I have good news for OFWs. The OFWs will have an express lane). Ang (The) tentative schedule for this will be on second or third week (of August)," Dr. Schlosser said.

The OFW express lane, according to her, aims to address the concerns of OFWs whose employment abroad requires them to get full doses of an anti-COVID-19 vaccine.

She said, "Mao nang next vaccination rollout nato kasi we are also looking into ilahang convenience kay naa man gyud mga OFWs na stuck sila dili sila kagawas because wala pa sila na vaccine (That will be our next vaccination rollout because we are looking into their convenience since some OFWs are stuck here and can't depart because they still haven't been vaccinated)."

The city health official also said, "When we say express lane ilaha lang jud ni, para lang gyud ni sa ilaha (this is exclusive for them)."

She said that some OFWs have been required by their employers to be injected with specific anti-COVID-19 vaccine brands. 

"Ang atong mga seafarers, mismong sponsors nila like Marina, have sponsored a vaccine, katong Moderna, para lang gyud sa ilang seafarers (Our seafarers, their sponsors like Marina, have sponsored a vaccine, which is Moderna, for them). The reason why I'd like to confirm it, naay mga countries dili gina recognize ang isa ka brand Sinovac (some countries don't recognize one brand), which is Sinovac," Dr. Schlosser added.

Anti-COVID-19 vaccines usually recognized abroad are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

She, however, underscored Sinovac's efficacy to protect someone from severe symptoms of the coronavirus remains even if it is not  recognized by some countries. 

"I-emphasize lang pud nako nga dili nagapasabot nga iba imong brand dili naka protected (I'd like to emphasize that it does not mean you have a different vaccine brand that you can't be protected). Whether it be Sinovac, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer, or Gamaleya, for that matter, ang tanan tumong gyud is protection against COVID-19 (they all aim to protect us against COVID-19)," she said, adding that OFWs and seafarers only have preferred brands because it is required by the countries of their destination.

Meanwhile, Dr. Schlosser said the second dose of AstraZeneca will be rolled out in August.