Filipino nurses among first to receive COVID-19 vaccine abroad.
Two Filipino nurses in the United States and a Filipino nurse in the United Kingdom talked about their experience of being among the first to get vaccinated.
This, as they’re witnessing at first hand the viciousness of COVID-19 that had already claimed the lives of nearly 1.7 million people and infected over 76.1 million others around the world.
Some Filipino healthcare workers in the United Kingdom and the United States volunteered to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech amid the skepticism on its efficacy and its possible side effects just as both countries recently rolled out the said vaccine for emergency use in order to address their spiraling cases.
While a lot of people were skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine, Riza Raquion — a Filipino nurse in the United States — believed that it was the only way to end the coronavirus pandemic and slowly put people’s lives back to normal.
“Don’t be afraid to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This is the only way to protect your loved ones, the community, and yourself to fight the virus if you’re exposed,” Riza said.
On the other hand, Richie Gil — a Filipino critical care nurse in the United States who was married to a nurse — said that he had long been waiting for this moment to come after enduring 10 months of risking their lives being exposed to patients with coronavirus disease.
“The daily uncertainty made me and my wife, who is also a nurse, accept the fact that it is just a matter of time before we get infected,” Richie said.
Gil and his wife availed of the early vaccination in the United States in order to protect their three young children and aging in-laws.
Meanwhile, Leo Quijano — a Filipino nurse in the United Kingdom who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and had received the vaccination a day after it was rolled out by the British government — said that he didn’t hesitate to get vaccinated as he’s positive about the COVID-19 vaccine which had shown 95% effective in the study.
“Huwag po kayo matakot. I hope it will be made available in the Philippines soon so that you will be protected and we can all normally function just like before the pandemic. But still, the key is prevention, we still need to observe the basic health protocols,” Leo said.