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IATF asked to lay down post-vaccination protocols

A PARTY-LIST lawmaker has asked the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to lay down to the public the required post-vaccination protocols and guidelines for coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19).

This was stressed by Ang Probinsyano party-list Rep. Ronnie Ong following government’s announcement that it will administer free coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines once it becomes available.

“Many of us are wondering as to the next concrete steps on the so-called life after the COVID-19 vaccine. Saan gaganapin ang mass vaccination? What are the possible side effects of the vaccine? Pagkatapos ng vaccine, are those vaccinated allowed to forego the mask and face shield? Can they travel already domestically and abroad?’ Madaming mga tanong, at sana ay masagot ang mga ito nang mas maaga bago pa magsimula ang pag-administer ng vaccine,” Ong said.

Ong added that a comprehensive and systematic action plan that will not only facilitate smooth and efficient distribution protocols for the COVID-19 vaccines but also to prepare the public to a post-pandemic life should be made public the soonest possible opportunity.

This is to ensure that all sectors would have a walkthrough on what to expect from the government and from their community, said Ong.

For example, Ong said that this early, a comprehensive and detailed database of recipients should be available by now, or if not, the government should already start setting it up instead of doing last-minute preparations when the vaccine is already available.

“We have to be very proactive this time. We have to set up the system this early and establish the best practices and protocols for every foreseeable scenario.” Ong said. “Sa panahon ngayon mas maganda ang advanced mag-isip. Mahirap ‘yung mabubulaga na naman tayo tapos magulo ang gagawing sistema ng pagbibigay ng vaccine, pati kung ano ang protocols pagkatapos makakuha ng vaccine,” Ong added citing the implementation of the first tranche of the Special Amelioration Program (SAP) which caused a lot of confusion and mix-ups.

Ong noted that there must be also a system for easier documentation and identification of people who have been inoculated to get away from circuitous verification procedures when outside, especially during travels, that would require proof of vaccination.

He said the national government can issue an official QR codes or bar codes for those who have already been vaccinated, and these official QR codes must have a centralized database by the IATF to avoid counterfeit codes.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is a symbol of hope for everyone — from students to businesses, from health workers to everyday employees. So many of our people are looking forward to the life after the COVID-19 vaccine, but we should remain vigilant, safe, and prepared even with the vaccine. Something as simple as finally being able to forego the face masks and the face shields is a concern for many after the vaccine, and the IATF should inform the public on these protocols so that local governments can prepare. We all need to prepare, and hopefully, for the best this time,” Ong added.