MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Millions of people are being vaccinated against the . While that’s undoubtedly good news, this growing share of the population with COVID-19 immunity creates a conundrum for decision makers as they plan a gradual reopening of the country.
On one hand, there are costs to asking vaccinated people to endure the isolation of lockdowns when they face little risk from the virus. On the other, lifting restrictions to accommodate them would put unvaccinated people in danger.
Several countries have begun exploring a possible solution to this problem: vaccine passports. A vaccine passport would provide official proof that someone has been vaccinated and grant them access to activities that are off-limits to others — whether it’s international travel, bars and restaurants, gyms or group gatherings.
This led to Sen. Grace Poe to push for the expansion of the objectives of the COVID-19 vaccine card to fast-track economic recovery.
In her opening statement during the hearing for the vaccine passport program, Poe pointed out that the absence of legislation and the lack of standard appearance and format for vaccine cards among local government units have not added to the credibility of vaccine cards.
“We cannot use our vaccination cards to travel for work, leisure or to access goods and services, among other things, as the rules remain restrictive to all individuals regardless of vaccination status,” Poe said.
As of last week, more than 37 million vaccines have been administered where over 15 million individuals have received their second dose.
“A healthy citizenry and a safe environment will spur the economic revival that we sorely need.”SENATOR GRACE POE
The senator filed Senate Bill No. 2321 amending the “COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act” or Republic Act 11525 to include international and domestic travel so that overseas Filipino workers can go back to work.
“Sa kasalukuyan, ang vaccine card sa ilalim ng Republic Act 11525 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act ay tila ba talaan lamang ng klase ng bakunang naibigay,” underscored Poe