MANILA - The rising number of countries requiring polio vaccination certificates from some Filipino travelers should “not be a cause of concern,” Health Sec. Francisco Duque III said Tuesday.
At least 19 countries are now requiring Filipino travelers to submit proof that they have received the polio vaccine before leaving the Philippines, according to a document recently released by the World Health Organization.
This does not mean that polio is spreading in the country, Duque told ABS-CBN News on the sidelines of budget deliberations in the Senate.
“It’s well within the protocol,” he said, referring to WHO guidelines on communicable diseases.
“Why should it be a cause of concern when it is honoring and respecting the requirement of these 19 other countries that wants the Philippines to ensure that people get vaccinated?” he said.
Based on a list from the WHO, shown Tuesday by the Bureau of Quarantine, the countries that ask Filipino travelers to present an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) against polio include:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saudi Arabia
Some of the 19 countries on the WHO list earlier said their Manila embassies have yet to receive directives from their home countries about the additional requirement for Filipino travelers.