Some Filipino nurses in New York hesitant to get COVID-19 vaccine: OFW

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2021 11:45 AM | Updated as of Jan 17 2021 01:45 PM

A worker is seen inside the 24 hour New York State coronavirus disease (COVID-19) mass vaccination site at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, the site was closed after running out of vaccine doses, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., January 15, 2021. Brendan McDermid, Reuters

MANILA - Some Filipino nurses in New York are hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19, one of their colleagues said Sunday.

Around 75 percent of healthworkers in one of the hardest-hit US cities have so far been inoculated, according to Filipino nurse Patricio Singson, citing reports.

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"Last week, ako ang charge nurse. Unfortunately, 50 percent lang po ata ang nagpa-vaccine sa grupo namin, lalo na yung ibang Pilipino... Pati ibang Pinoy na kakilala ko, medyo hindi pa rin kumpiyansa sa vaccine," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(I was the charge nurse last week. Unfortunately, only around 50 percent of our group chose to get vaccinated. Some Filipinos I know are hesitant to get it.)

Singson thinks that Filipino nurses suffered the most fatalities during the height of the pandemic in the US, which has the highest coronavirus death toll in the world.

"Sa grupo ng nurses sa America, I think Filipinos had the most casualties. Marami pong Pilipinong namatay. Marami pong kaibigan ko, kakilala ko ang kinapos-palad, hindi sinwerte kumabaga. Mga 40 plus, 50 plus ganun po kabata, kaya sobrang nakakatakot," he said.

(Among the groups of nurses in America, I think Filipinos had the most casualties. Many Filipinos died, many of my friends did not make it. Some were aged 40 plus, 50 plus, they were that young so it's really scary.)

Singson, who is due for his second dose of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, said he experienced muscle soreness, headache and his eye itched after receiving his first dose.

"Medyo kinabahan ako nang kaunti. Pero buti na lang, nung second day, balik sa normal. Sabi nila, talagang merong side effect kasi yung nire-replicate nilang virus sobrang malakas daw," he said.

(I was a bit nervous but I was back to normal on the second day. They said there are really side effects because the virus the vaccine replicates is strong.)

"Yung effectivity po ng vaccine will take time eh. Sabi nila 7 to 14 days. So meron pa ring chances (of contracting COVID-19)."

(The vaccine's effectivity will take time, they said it will be around 7 to 14 days.)

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, 3,981 Filipinos abroad were being treated for the disease, as of Saturday, Jan. 16.

They are among the 13,543 confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded by the agency involving Filipino nationals overseas.

The death toll among the group is 935 while those who recovered are 8,627.