MANILA - There would be "no differentiation between vaccinated and unvaccinated" Filipinos, the Department of Health (DOH) said, Friday days after President Rodrigo Duterte said unvaccinated individuals should be barred from going outside their homes.
The Philippines does not have enough vaccine supplies to make this distinction, Health spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
"Mayroon po diyan na ayaw talaga nila magpabakuna pero mayroon din po diyan na gusto nila pero hindi pa po siya nakakuha ng bakuna," she said.
(There are those who really do not want to be vaccinated, but there are also people who want to be vaccinated but have no access to the vaccines.)
"Sinasabi din po ng mga eksperto na there might be legal issues when it comes to this," she said.
(Experts also say that there might be legal issues when it comes to this.)
The Philippines has only been inoculating medical workers, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, workers in essential industries and indigents, and has yet to include younger Filipinos in its vaccination efforts against COVID-19.
On Thursday, Duterte said barangay officials should monitor the vaccination status in their areas and prohibit unvaccinated people from going outside their houses.
The Philippines' vaccine expert panel also countered this statement, saying fully vaccinated individuals can still be carriers of the more virulent Delta strain of COVID-19.
As of July 29, the Philippines has fully vaccinated 7.8 million people against COVID-19, while 11.5 million others have received their first dose against the disease.
Video from the Department of Health