Vaccines should still be voluntary, wearing of face shields not mandatory – WHO

Published November 30, 2021, 2:41 PM

by Jaleen Ramos


The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday, Nov. 30 said getting vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) should still be voluntary amid the threat posed new COVID variant Omicron.

(JANSEN ROMERO/MANILA BULLETIN File Photo)


“We’ve always taken the stance that we’re not mandating vaccines. People should be free to decide what’s best for them,” said during the Laging Handa virtual forum.

Abeyasinghe, however, clarified that the WHO is still urging the public to get vaccinated, especially those who are at risks.

“We know they’re life-saving, vaccines can protect from severe disease,” he said.

Abeyasinghe also said there is no need to make the wearing of face shields mandatory, reiterating the virus is not airborne.

“We have right along said this virus is not airborne. It’s close contact transmission. We’ve always emphasized what’s important is physical distancing, face masking, hand hygiene,” he pointed out.

“As long as these minimum public health protocols are complied with and we ensure that people do not congregate in closed settings. Face shields, at this point, is not mandatory because we are still looking at and understanding the transmission dynamics of the Omicron variant,” the WHO official added.

The government is eyeing the reimplementation of the mandatory face shield policy amid the threat of the Omicron variant.
 
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