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Pinoy Abroad

Filipino who went to California gets free COVID-19 vaccine

Maricris Supat received her vaccine in United States to protect her against COVID-19 despite not being an American citizen.

According to JP Soriano's report on "24 Oras," Supat said she got doses of Moderna vaccines for free during her visit in Los Angeles, California.

"I had myself vaccinated because it's allowed whether you are a US citizen or not. Just show your ID," Supat said in a mix of Filipino and English.

She said the vaccination process only took her 20 to 30 minutes.

Supat lamented that she initially wanted to get inoculated in the Philippines but she is currently under A4 category or economic and government frontliners.

"I want to be vaccinated in the Philippines but I can't get inoculated that easily. I am very lucky I was injected here in the US," Supat said.

US President Joe Biden said around 150 million citizens have already received the first shot of COVID-19 vaccines which will prevent hospitalization and deaths due to the severe viral ailment. The US government used Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to inoculate the majority of their population.

American authorities also plan to increase vaccination by putting up mobile inoculation sites at tourist spots in New York such as in Empire State Building and Central Park.

With this, Some Filipinos are also mulling to go to other countries to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire, for her part, advised the public to "avoid unnecessary travel" and must stay indoors.

"Traveling to another country has its risks such as possibly getting infected with a variant of COVID-19 before the vaccine can provide full protection against COVID-19," Vergeire said in reaction to Filipinos who plan to go to other countries for early vaccination.

"We reiterate it takes time before the immune system can build protection against COVID-19," she added.

In the Philippines, DOH reported that so far 1.7 million Filipinos were inoculated which is still short of its target to reach 50 million to 70 million vaccinated individuals for herd immunity.

As of May 12, only health workers, senior citizens and people with comorbidities are being vaccinated in the country.—Consuelo Marquez/LDF, GMA News