Filipino volunteers

August 25, 2020

DON’T look now, but there are a total of 181 Filipino nurses and one medical doctor involved in the Phase III trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Filipino health professionals work at the Group 42 (G42) Healthcare Station located at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), which is the biggest of its kind in the world.

Host to thousands of Filipino workers, including nurses and domestic helpers, UAE is among the first world countries undertaking Phase III trials for a potential vaccine for COVID-19.

Since July 16, the potential vaccine, developed by Chinese company Sinopharm, has been administered to some 15,000 people of various nationalities, including 181 Filipino health workers.

When she recently visited the ADNEC, Philippine Ambassador to UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana commended the Filipino volunteers for their involvement in the COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Quintana said the dedication showed by our workers springs forth from the Filipino value of “pakikipagkapwa,” which is described as “one care for his/her Filipino human being.”

Dr. Waleed Zaher, G42 chief research officer, accompanied Quintana to a walk-through of the trial process, from registration to actual vaccination.

Neil Bie, a reporter of the UAE-based “The Filipino Times,” was one of the first Filipino volunteers. Bie said he volunteered to participate in the trials to express his gratitude to the UAE.

In fact, the Filipino newspaperman paid a glowing tribute to UAE for caring for all foreign workers during the crippling COVID-19 pandemic “the same way it treats its own citizens.”

And our overseas Filipino workers in the UAE should be commended forparticipating in the trials which, according to various quarters, will benefit humanity as a whole.