Filipino nurse who administered first COVID-19 vaccine in UK urges Filipinos to get vaccinated

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 11) – The Filipina nurse who administered the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom encouraged every Filipino to get vaccinated in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

May Parsons emphasized that being inoculated is the Filipinos’ biggest contribution to the world in fighting the coronavirus that has now infected over 90 million and killed 1.9 million people worldwide based on the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

"History says that vaccination -- it does work, it does protect people. And for people thinking about not having it, please do, because if you have family who are at risk of actually experiencing death because of COVID-19, then I would say take it," Parsons told CNN Philippines' Rico Hizon on Monday.

Parsons also explained the importance of educating Filipinos about vaccines, based from scientific research and related clinical studies.

"The hearsay is stronger than the message of education from the researches or the clinical scientists. We just need to make sure the information we're getting or the information that our kababayans are getting are the real ones and they can be trusted and not just hearsay," said Parsons, a nurse in the UK's National Health Service for 24 years.

The OCTA Research's TUGON NG MASA survey released last January 5 found that only 25% of respondents in Metro Manila are willing to get vaccinated when doses become available in the country.

Around 28% of the respondents have said they would not get the vaccine, and 47% are still undecided.

Despite the hesitancy of some people to take the COVID-19 vaccine, Parsons urged Filipino nurses and medical workers around the world to hold on as they continue to fight the coronavirus.

"Keep the faith, keep your resilience, have the support that you need around you to refresh, reset, and restart your emotional and mental well-being. Also know that you're not on your own," she said.

Parsons administered the first Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the UK to 90-year-old Margaret Keenan last December 8.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said during a Senate inquiry on Monday a shipment carrying 50,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses will be delivered to the country on February 20. He refused to name which brand will finally reach the country, but said it's either from Sinovac, Novavax, or AstraZeneca.