DOH says no to 'vaccine passes' for special access to indoor activities, services
A health worker administers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to an individual at FilOil Flying V Center on May 12, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

DOH says no to 'vaccine passes' for special access to indoor activities, services

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - May 14, 2021 - 3:32pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said it was not in favor of a proposal to have “vaccine passes” that would allow vaccinated individuals access to indoor activities and services.

In a briefing Friday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed there was scant evidence suggesting fully-vaccinated individuals will no longer get sick or transmit COVID-19 to other people.

“As we have said, the benefit that we can get from vaccines is reducing severe infections and hospitalization. As to preventing mild to moderate infections, we cannot give that assurance to the public,” Vergeire said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“Even if you are fully vaccinated, meaning you have completed two doses, you still need to follow minimum health protocols. The DOH cannot recommend this so-called vaccine pass yet,” she added.

'GCQ Plus'

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal will be under general community quarantine “with heightened restrictions” until May 31. Under this quarantine classification, indoor dining will be allowed at 20% seating capacity.

Personal care services not requiring face mask removal can also operate at a 30% capacity.

Vaccination in the Philippines has been slow with only 514,655 out of 110 million people being fully inoculated since the campaign began in March. Meanwhile, over two million individuals have received their first dose.

Currently, the country is vaccinating 67,000 to 83,000 people per day. Vergeire said more people will get inoculated as the government received more supplies of COVID-19 jabs.

The Philippines, which has one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Asia, has tallied 1.12 million cases, including 18,821 deaths.

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