MANILA — The Department of Health on Tuesday said it is not necessary for COVID-19 vaccine recipients to have themselves tested for the disease and for allergies, although certain brands have specific rules.
Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said during a vaccine forum that some vaccines, like Pfizer’s, specify that those who were already infected with COVID-19 must defer vaccination for 60 to 90 days.
“Based on that, we will have specific guideline for specific vaccines,” she said.
Cabotaje said once the guidelines are approved by the Secretary of Health, they can release it to the public.
Asked if an allergy test would also be required for the Pfizer vaccine, which listed severe allergic reactions as a contraindication, the health official said, “As of now, there will be no allergy test because it will take time.”
Cabotaje said relying on the medical history of the patient should be sufficient.
She added that vaccinations normally do not require skin tests for allergies.
As part of the vaccine roll-out procedure, those who will get vaccinated will also be required to stay at the immunization site for 30 minutes to an hour so they can be observed for side effects by health workers.
The country expects the arrival of its first batch of vaccine supplies next month. Up to 70 million individuals are targeted for inoculation to achieve herd immunity against the new coronavirus.
As of Tuesday, the country's confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 516,166, of which, 30,357 are active infections, 475,423 are recoveries, and 10,386 resulted in deaths.