Inoculated individuals still have to follow travel protocols, for now — Duque
MANILA, Philippines — Even those who have already been inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine have to follow travel protocols imposed by the government, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday.
During the hearing of the House committee on health, Duque was asked whether those who have been inoculated will be exempted from travel protocols once the vaccination program begins in the country.
Duque said that current policies state that inoculated individuals still have to follow protocols.
“Perhaps [they can be exempted] down the road when we can get more data as the vaccines are rolled out or administered to a growing number of individuals—both locally and internationally. But right now the policy of the IATF, based on the recommendation of our experts, is that they will continue to follow all these existing protocols,” Duque said.
“They will not be exempted just because they have been vaccinated because as earlier pointed out, it is not yet clear nor there is insufficient body of evidence or data to show that the vaccines can actually prevent transmission,” he added.
According to Duque, the current COVID-19 vaccine “may prevent clinical symptoms of mild disease and also more importantly severe clinical manifestations.”
“But the transmission, the evidence is not sufficient,” Duque added.
This was backed by infectious diseases expert Dr. Edsel Salvana.
“If we actually have a vaccine that is proven to be 100% transmission blocking, then anybody who is vaccinated with it should be able to travel freely. They don’t need to wait for everybody kasi hindi ka na nakakahawa,” Salvana said.
“Pero yun talaga yung problem e. Kasi even like for Moderna, right now, what evidence we have, limited evidence, is maybe it prevents two-thirds of asymptomatic infection. May one-third pa rin yun, so hindi pa rin tayo makakasigurado,” he added.
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