Philippines revises quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated travelers

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021   •   267

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has updated its protocols for inbound travelers from “green lanes” who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination, Malacañang said.

In a statement on Wednesday, President Spokesperson Harry Roque said that effective October 14, fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to their departure from the country of origin.

“Upon arrival, no facility-based quarantine will be required but the passenger is enjoined to self-monitor for any symptoms until the 14th day,” he added.

For fully vaccinated Filipinos, Roque said they can choose among the following options:

  • Facility-based quarantine until the release of a negative RT-PCR test taken in the quarantine facility upon arrival
  • No facility-based quarantine after getting a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure from the country of origin but the passenger is enjoined to self-monitor for any symptoms until the 14th day

For the unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or individuals whose vaccination status cannot be independently verified, and those vaccinated but failed to comply with the test-before-travel requirements, they shall undergo a facility-based quarantine until the release of a negative RT-PCR test taken on the 5th day, Roque said.

In the case of foreign nationals, they shall be required to secure hotel reservations for at least 6 days, he added.

Meanwhile, Roque said that unvaccinated or partially vaccinated minor children traveling with their fully vaccinated parent/s or guardians shall be required to observe the quarantine protocols corresponding to their vaccination status.

He added that a parent/guardian shall accompany the child in the quarantine facility for the full term of the latter’s facility-based quarantine period.

For the validation of vaccination status, travelers vaccinated in the country and abroad, and foreigners vaccinated in the Philippines can present either their VaxCertPH digital certificate, Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) / World Health Organization (WHO)-issued International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICV), or the national digital certificate of the foreign government where they were vaccinated.

“In the case of foreigners vaccinated abroad, they can present WHO-issued ICV, or the national digital certificate of the foreign government, which has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal agreement,” Roque said.

Rollout ng 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose, pinaghahandaan na – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Department of Health (DOH) na pinaghahandaan na nito ang roll out ng ikatlong dose ng COVID-19 vaccine para sa mga health worker (A1), senior citizen (A2) at immunocompromised individuals (A3).

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, ang hakbang na ito ay batay sa rekomendasyon ng Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization ng World Health Organization (WHO) na pagbibigay ng dagdag na COVID-19 vaccine shot sa mga nabanggit na grupo na tumanggap ng Sinovac at Sinopharm brands.

Ngunit para maisagawa ito, sinabi ni Vergeire na kailangang maamyendahan ang emergency use authorization ng mga bakuna sa bansa na ang nakasaad na dosing regimen ay dalawa lamang, at isa naman para sa Janssen vaccine.

“Mangyayari lang po iyan kapag nakapaglabas ang Food and Drug Administration ng emergency use authority. Kung matatandaan natin, ang EUA natin para sa mga bakunang meron tayo ay para lang sa pirimary series natin. Ibig sabihin, dalawang doses for most of the vaccine, and sa isang bakua natin Janssen, it’s just one dose, to get fully vaccinated,” ani Vergeire.

Ipinaliwanag rin ng DOH ang kaibahan ng third dose sa booster dose ng bakuna.

Ani Vergeire, ang third dose ay ibinibigay para sa grupo o populasyon ng mga taong mataas ang risk ng infection at walang sapat na immunity kaya nangangailangan sila ng isa pang dosing regimen ng kanilang natanggap na bakuna.

“Third dose, ito ay ibinibigay as part of the primary series. Kung matatandaan niyo in our list of vaccines that we currently use katulad ng Hepatitis B at iba pa nating bakuna, tatlong doses sila,” paliwanag ni Vergeire.

“As the evidence grow further na nabigyan ng kumpletong ebidensya, naipakita ng bakuna na kapag binigyan ng third dose mas nabo-boost ang immune response ng tao and that is the additional dose,” dagdag pa niya.

Ang booster dose naman ay ibinibigay ilang buwan pagkatapos ng primary dosing kapag bumaba na ang immunity ng isang nabakunahan nito.

“When we talk about boosters, itong nakareceive na ng primary series ng bakuna, ibig sabihin fully vaccinated na at naka-receive na ng dalawang dose o di kaya Janssen ang nakuha mo naka-receive ka na ng isang dose,” ani Vergeire.

Hanggang ngayon aniya ay pinag-aaralan pa ng mga eksperto ang pagbibigay ng booster shot.

Wala rin pang rekomendasyon ang WHO ukol rito lalo’t limitado pa rin ang supply ng COVID-19 vaccines.

IATF places Bulacan, Apayao, Capiz under GCQ beginning October 18

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— Quarantine restrictions in the provinces of Bulacan, Apayao, and Capiz have been downgraded, Malacañang announced Sunday.

“The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the recommendation to place the said provinces under general community quarantine (GCQ) from October 18 to October 31, ” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Bulacan and Apayao were initially placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) while Capiz was previously under GCQ with heightened restrictions.

Under GCQ, any person below 18 years old, above 65 years old, including those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women, shall be required to remain in their residences at all times, except for obtaining essential goods and services, or for work in industries and offices.

Entertainment and recreational venues, casinos, and outdoor sports are sill not permitted to operate during GCQ. Face-to-face or in-person classes for basic education shall be suspended. AAC

900K more doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrive in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Around 900,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the country over the weekend.

A total of 720,000 Sputnik V doses from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute were delivered on Saturday (October 16). The latest shipment is the largest delivery so far from the Russian-based vaccine maker.

To date, the country has received a total of 1,290,000 Sputnik V doses consisting of Components I and II.

An additional 207,090 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine also arrived on Saturday.

According to National Task Force Against COVID-19 special adviser Teodoro Herbosa said a portion of the vaccines will be delivered to Cebu and Davao, while the rest will be used for pediatric vaccination which began on Friday (October 15).

“We do hope that this will help a lot in our vaccination program. The other good news is we have reached about 92 million doses delivered to the Filipino people by the different brands. I think the promise of Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of 104 million by the end of October will be fulfilled,” he said.

More COVID-19 vaccine supplies are expected to arrive in the country. The national government estimated around 140 million to 160 million doses will be delivered to the Philippines before the end of 2021. AAC

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