DOH to issue ‘passports’ for the inoculated

By: Patricia Denise M. Chiu - Philippine Daily Inquirer | January 16,2021 - 06:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health on Friday said the Philippines would probably provide a COVID-19 “vaccine passport” to Filipinos who had been inoculated against the coronavirus.

“We will also have a data registry for all vaccine recipients,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

According to the health official, a QR, or quick response, code will be issued to every individual who has received a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the severe respiratory disease.

A QR code can be scanned to display a number of information encoded in it, including the personal information of the holder.

“This [QR code] would be something of a unique identifier for a specific person who will receive the vaccine. They will also have a card that will serve as proof that they have been vaccinated, and will contain information on whether they received one or two doses already,” Vergeire explained.

Border control document

She said such vaccine passports would likely be standard border control documents in other countries.

Vergeire did not say how such a document may be crafted but one member of the House of Representatives has already proposed a vaccine passport law.

In December 2020, Ang Probinsyano party list Rep. Ronnie Ong filed House Bill No. 8280, or the proposed Vaccination Passport Act, which would provide vaccine passports to those who receive vaccine shots during the country’s mass vaccination program as well as any other infectious diseases which may occur in the future.

WHO ‘Yellow Card’

The World Health Organization (WHO) currently issues a similar “medical passport” known as the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, or Yellow Card, for travelers as proof that they had been inoculated against yellow fever.

In the context of COVID-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun the rollout of V-safe, a smartphone-based tool that documents vaccination records.

This app also allows people who had been vaccinated to report any side effects they may encounter. Vaccinated individuals are also given a “vaccination card,” the size of a regular ID card, after their first dose as proof that they have been inoculated.

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