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Bill proposes vaccine passport

TO ensure the effective and efficient rollout of the country’s vaccination program, Senator Pia Cayetano is proposing to establish a Vaccine Passport Program that will help the government keep track of every Filipino’s record of inoculations against COVID-19.

The senator on Wednesday filed Senate Bill No. 1999 or the “Vaccine Passport Program Act,” which seeks to provide a vaccine passport to all Filipinos.

Cayetano said her proposed vaccine passport would put on record who has been inoculated with which kind of vaccine, when and how many doses were administered, and other matters related to the government’s intensive vaccination plan against COVID-19.

Moreover, she said the vaccine passports — which shall primarily be digital but printed copies shall also be available to ensure accessibility for all — would allow the government to monitor the distribution of vaccines, their effects on people, the overall effectiveness of the immunization program, and to gather data for post-market surveillance.

The vaccine passport shall contain the following standard information: a) Manufacturer, brand name, and batch number or other identifier of the COVID-19 vaccine; b) Date of vaccination; c) Name of the hospital, health center, or health facility where the vaccine was received; and d) Name, signature and license number of the duly licensed physician, nurse or other health worker administering the vaccine.

The measure further recommended that individuals vaccinated against COVID-19, as indicated in their Vaccine Passports, may be granted certain benefits or exemptions, subject to guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

These benefits could include international travel, as may be allowed in foreign jurisdictions; non-essential domestic travel; local checkpoint and quarantine exemptions; and access to business establishments allowed to operate during the new normal.

“We should recognize the importance of preventive healthcare and the need to take proactive measures in the fight against diseases, particularly COVID-19,” the senator stressed.

“A comprehensive, mandatory, and sustainable immunization program for vaccine-preventable diseases – including the novel coronavirus – is indispensable to achieve the objectives of universal healthcare and the country’s commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly on SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being,” added Cayetano, who chairs the Senate Committee on SDGs, Innovation, and Futures Thinking that keeps track of the country’s progress in achieving the 17 SDGs.

Publication Source :    People's Journal
Marlon Purificacion
Journalist At Large