Retailers: Vaccine pass premature
A health worker shows syringes filled with Pfizer vaccine as they administer the first dose to those belonging to A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidity) categories during their continuation of vaccination program for San Juaneños at FilOil Flying V Centre (San Juan Arena) on May 12, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Retailers: Vaccine pass premature

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - May 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The use of a vaccine pass as proof of inoculation against COVID-19 by individuals entering establishments would be premature to have at this time as the country has yet to fully implement its vaccination program, the country’s group of retailers said.

“I think it’s premature to impose this, and this is discriminatory, especially for those who were not yet vaccinated either due to lack of supply or access,” Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) president Rosemarie Ong said in a text message.

The PRA has over 400 members engaged in the distribution chain from retailers, mall and shopping centers to traders or suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers.

For one, Ong said, the country is still in the process of rolling out its vaccination program.

“This is counterproductive because those who were vaccinated are seniors and individuals with comorbidity,” she added.

The Department of Health earlier expressed its opposition to the proposals to issue vaccine passes to individuals that have received COVID-19 jabs, with Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire pointing out that there is no sufficient evidence to show that an individual who received full vaccination would be immune from the virus and be able to block its transmission.

Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion expressed his view last Saturday that the use of vaccine passes may be considered in the National Capital Region Plus once it achieves herd immunity.

He said it is possible to adopt such system by the end of the year with vaccines arriving in the country.

By using vaccine passes, he said vaccinated individuals would be able to resume normal activities. He added that it would help businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic and safely increase their operating capacity to reflect the number of individuals that have been inoculated.

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