Philippines offers to trade nurses to UK, Germany for access to vaccines

Die Filippyne said this week it is willing to send more nurses to work in the United Kingdom en Duitsland if those countries send extra coronavirus vaccine doses, underscoring the struggles of poorer countries in getting access to vaccines.

The U.K. and Germany have collectively vaccinated 23 million people while the Philippines has yet to start, Reuters berig. The country is expected to get its first vaccine doses this week from China.

The Philippines usually caps the number of medical professionals leaving the country at 5,000.

We are considering the request to lift the deployment cap, subject to agreement,” Alice Visperas, director of the labour ministry’s international affairs bureau, told Reuters.

POOR COUNTRIES FACE LONG WAIT FOR VACCINES DESPITE PROMISES

Britain, egter, said it doesn’t need any more Filipino nurses and is prioritizing immunizing Britons first, but still plans to send excess vaccine doses later this year. The U.K. already has 30,000 Filipino nurses working in the country.

We have confirmed that we will share any surplus vaccines in the futurefor example through the COVAX international procurement pool,” a spokeswoman with the U.K.’s health ministry said, referring to the Wêreld-Gesondheidsorganisasie’s COVAX program, which aims to distribute 2.3 miljard entstowwe rondom die wêreld, many to poor countries at no cost. The WHO delivered its first vaccines through the COVAX program to Ghana this week.

Die VSA. also plans to donate several billion dollars to COVAX.

The secretary-general of the Filipino Nurses United, Jocelyn Andamo, said the Filipino government is treating nurses likecommoditiesin offering them for vaccines.

We are disgusted on how nurses and healthcare workers are being treated by the government as commodities or export products,” she told Reuters.

The U.K. has ordered 400 million doses of the vaccine, which is around 6 times its population. The Philippines wants 148 million doses for its 70 million adults.

Germany has not commented on the offer, Reuters berig.

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