Palace adviser backs proposed COVID-19 vaccine card expiry


Posted at Apr 06 2022 01:56 PM


Barangay volunteers screen people entering Barangay 183 in Pasay City on Jan. 13, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File 
Barangay volunteers screen people entering Barangay 183 in Pasay City on Jan. 13, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File 

MANILA — A Malacañang adviser on Wednesday supported a proposal to set expiration dates for COVID-19 vaccination cards to encourage more people to get booster shots. 

The COVID-19 task force is waiting for experts’ “solid recommendation” on the proposal, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said, citing the 9-month validity of vaccination cards in Singapore. 

“Siguro si Sec. Duque na will know what is best for our people but sa private sector, yan ang kinakampanya namin,” said Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. 

(Perhaps Sec. Duque will know what is best for our people, but in the private sector, that is what we are campaigning in the private sector because)

“We are concerned that the threat is real and we want to see every LGU and every city go down to Alert Level 1,” he said in a public briefing. 

He made the remark following a spike of new COVID-19 cases in some countries and the detection of the potentially more transmissible “omicron XE” variant in Thailand. 

“Kung hindi pa nila kukunin ang booster, mas lalong tataas yung number of vaccines that will be expiring… We cannot allow the booster uptake below 10 percent,” Concepcion said. 

(If they will not get their booster, the number of vaccines that will be expiring will increase.) 

Palace adviser backs proposed COVID-19 vaccine card expiry

The official earlier said about 27 million COVID-19 jabs would expire by July. The Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 noted that many of these were other countries’ donations.

The Philippines has fully vaccinated at least 66.2 million people against COVID-19. Some 12.1 million have received booster shots, while 46.8 million others are eligible to get an additional jab, the DOH said on Tuesday.

Concepcion suggested that the vaccine card’s expiration should depend on when an individual finished their primary series. Aside from this, he also urged the public to get their boosters by June to prevent a COVID-19 surge driven by the election-related activities.

“Sana, katulad nitong sa vaccine cards (expiration), depende sa when they took it… Karamihan ng kumuha ng early primary doses, bandang June, July, magwe-wane na yan kaya tamang-tama ang booster shots,” said Concepcion. 

“Tingin ko dito, ang deadline ng booster shots dapat gawin bandang June, after elections,” he added.

(I hope the vaccine cards’ expiration will depend on when they took it. For most of the early primary doses, the protection will wane by June, July so people should take booster shots by then. I think the deadline for booster shots should be set in June after elections.) 

COVID-19 vaccines available in the Philippines are expected to give protection, especially from severe disease, for a “minimum of 6 months to one year,” the country’s Vaccine Expert Panel earlier said. 

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