Vaccine passport might be used for border control once widely implemented- Vergeire

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2021 01:30 PM

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MANILA — A health official on Friday said that the certificate received by those vaccinated against COVID-19 can be used as a requirement for border control once the system is widely implemented.

“Sa tingin ko maipapatupad yan (I think that will be implemented) and when it is widely implemented already I guess this will be part of the protocol to control the borders of each of these countries we have around the globe,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing when asked about vaccine passports or proof of inoculation against COVID-19.

Vergeire said the vaccine passport will be based on the data registry of all vaccine recipients.

“Magkakaroon ng QR code ang bawat isang tao na makaka-receive ng bakunang ito (There will be a QR code for each person). This will be something like a unique identifier for specific persons who will receive the vaccine,” she said.

The vaccination card will also indicate whether or not the person has already received one or two doses of the vaccine. 

Asked if it will affect those who refuse to be vaccinated, Vergeire said that if this becomes part of protocol, they will also have to follow it. 

“If it’s a protocol 'pag hindi kayo makakapag-comply dun sa protocol na dapat mayroon kang vaccine na passport or this card, which certifies you have been vaccinated, hindi ka makakalipad,” she said.

(If it’s protocol and you don’t comply with the requirement to have a vaccine passport or card certifying that you were vaccinated, then you cannot travel.)

Vergeire added that experts are still studying how long a person would be immune from COVID-19 after vaccination.

She said that, so far, studies show the body will respond to the vaccine within the first 14 days. And the response will be heightened when the 2nd dose is administered 21 or 28 days after.

She said this uncertainty is why minimum health standards such as the wearing of face masks will still be implemented as a precaution even with mass inoculations.