MANILA - The World Health Organization recommends a shorter quarantine period for fully-vaccinated persons, its representative to the Philippines said Tuesday.
Fully-vaccinated individuals or those who have received 2 doses of a coronavirus jab have lower viral load which means "the likelihood of transmission to other people is significantly reduced," said Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe.
"In light of this, we are recommending that countries could consider reducing quarantine period for people who have been fully-vaccinated," he told ANC's Headstart.
"If you are immune or fully-vaccinated or you have had a recent infection within the last 6 months, that should suffice for persons to have a lower period of quarantine."
The WHO, however, recognizes and welcomes the Philippines' "risk-based approach," Abeyasinghe said.
Effective July 1, travelers who were fully vaccinated in "green" countries or those with low COVID-19 risk would be allowed to shorten their facility quarantine to 7 days from 10 days, Malacañang earlier said.
"In [view] of the widespread expansion of the Delta variant the Philippines has opted a 7-day quarantine, and again this is I think a very risk-based approached which we are asking countries to take, it’s a good thing."
The WHO insists that a person's vaccination status "should not be used as criterion to determine access to entry to a country or not," according to Abeyasinghe.
"That would be unfair at this point point of time given the inequity that countries face globally in accessing vaccines," he said.
The Philippines earlier allowed fully-protected domestic travelers to forego confirmatory swab tests but they would still be required to undergo health and exposure screening, and present their vaccination card or quarantine certificate.
The world health body also reiterates that all COVID-19 vaccines that has received its emergency use listing status must be recognized equally, Abeyasinghe added.
"The emergency use listing procedure does a very stringent evaluation of vaccines. If they have received that emergency use listing status, we are urging countries to recognize people who received the vaccine," he said.
"In fairness to countries we also need to give them time to evaluate these products...This is an ongoing process and WHO respects the independence and sovereignty of countries to do their own evaluation."