Vaccine passports to be issued; ‘no option to choose vaccine’ — DOH

Published January 15, 2021, 2:23 PM

by Analou de Vera

The government will issue “vaccine passports” to Filipinos who will be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday.

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Itong vaccine passport na ito, meron tayo, magkakaroon tayo ng ganyan, and as we have said in the previous na mga pag-uusap, magkakaroon po tayo ng data registry for all recipients [We will have a vaccine passport and as we have said during the previous meetings, we will have a data registry for all recipients],” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing.

Vergeire said that vaccinated individuals will be provided a QR code.

“This would be something of a unique identifier for a specific person who will receive the vaccine, and dito magkakaroon din po sila ng card na nagsasabi na sila ay nabakunahan [and here they will also have a card stating that they have been vaccinated], either with one dose or two doses–and this will serve as their certificate that they have been vaccinated,” she said.

Vergeire believes that vaccine passports will be widely implemented worldwide.

“I guess this will be part of the protocol to control the borders of each of these countries that we have around the world,” she said.

No option to choose what type of vaccine

The DOH, meanwhile, said that the public cannot choose what type of vaccine they want to receive once the government’s COVID-19 immunization program begins.

However, Vergeire assured the public that all vaccines that will be used in the country will be strictly evaluated by the Philippine health regulators to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

“Kailangan lang po natin intindihin na ang gobyerno po ay nagbibigay ng vaccination program na ito, hindi lang po sa bawat isang tao, kung hindi para protektahan ang buong Filipino population. That is the objective. So at this point, hindi po kami magbibigay ng option kung anong type ng bakuna ang pwedeng makuha ng isang tao [We need to understand that the government provides this vaccination program, not just to every single person but to protect the entire Filipino population. That is the objective. So at this point, we will not give an option on what type of vaccine a person can receive],” said Vergeire.

The DOH spokesperson said that an informed consent will be given first to an individual before he or she can be vaccinated.

“Ibibigay sa kanila dyan sa form na iyan kung anong type ng bakuna, kung ano po yung idudulot na benepisyo ng bakuna para sa kanila, and kung ano naman po ang pwedeng reaction ng isang tao doon sa bakuna [A form will be given to them indicating what type of vaccine, the benefits and possible adverse reactions that a person could experience once they take the vaccine]. And with that, they will decide if they will accept it or not,” she said.

“Ngayon pag sinabi nila na ‘hindi muna, hindi muna ako magpapabakuna, mag-aantay muna ako’ [Now, when they say ‘I will not get vaccinated (or) I’ll wait first’] —-then they go to the bottom of the list of that sector,” she added.

Vergeire reiterated that all the vaccines that will be used in the government’s COVID-19 immunization program will be reviewed properly.

“Gusto lang ho namin kayo bigyan ng kasiguraduhan na ito pong lahat ng bakuna ay dadaan sa ating proseso [We just want to assure you that all these vaccines will go through our process] for regulation and all of these vaccines na magkakaroon ng [that will have an] EUA would be safe and effective for everybody,” she said.