QC adds tamper-proof seals to vaccine cards
MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City (QC) government on Friday began distributing vaccination cards with tamper-proof seals to residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The vaccine cards with hologram seals will be issued from six vaccination sites that are scheduled to administer second doses to about 4,000 individuals.
“Apart from a vaccination certificate for travel or work, which the Quezon City Health Department also issues, the tamper-proof security seal guarantees that vaccination cards presented for whatever purpose are genuine,” QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement.
According to the QC government, the possibility of fraud has increased as more incentives such as discounts and free products are now offered to fully vaccinated citizens.
LGUs were earlier told to tighten the security of vaccination cards against “manipulation and abuse.”
Travelers were recently warned against fabricating COVID-19 vaccination cards, reminding the public that the falsification of public documents is punishable by law.
The hologram seal on QC vaccination cards will be countersigned by an authorized representative of Task Force Vax to Normal.
“Now that inter-zonal travel for fully vaccinated individuals is being relaxed and more merchants are offering discounts to vaccinated individuals, our goal is to ensure that our QCitizens will have easier access to places and services,” Belmonte said.
The Department of Health, however, earlier said that travelers may still need to present negative COVID-19 test results as the government is still trying to establish a policy for the use of vaccination cards.
Quezon City Vax to Normal Co-Chair Joseph Juico said that vaccine cards were originally only for information related to vaccinated individuals but were later on made more secure as the cards will be used for other purposes.
“Given the delay in the roll-out of vaccine passes or a centralized vaccination certification system by the national government, we are in the interim, putting in place measures to make the vaccination cards more secure, especially for those requiring this for travel, work, and other purposes,” Juico added.
The city mayor also suggested that valid photo-bearing IDs of fully vaccinated persons be presented to restaurants, shops and malls along with the cards to ensure that these cards are not passed on to unvaccinated persons in attempts to claim incentives or for travel purposes.
The local government will also affix security seals to the cards of at least 240,000 citizens who received their second doses before the rollout of the security seal.
According to the LGU, those who received their second doses in the month of April will receive their vaccine card seals on July 12 to 23 at the Century Hall of the Quezon City Memorial Circle.
Priority will be given to those with pending domestic or international travel.
Residents and authorized representatives of a bedridden, senior citizen or family member must bring a valid ID when processing the tamper-proof seals.
Belmonte also urged business establishments to take note of the seal-bearing vaccination cards presented to them as valid proof of authenticity, especially when this is presented together with a QCitizen ID or any valid ID.
“We need to promote the safety of everyone by providing other LGUs, airlines and commercial establishments with evidence of a person’s vaccination status. As we strive to revive the economy, our fully vaccinated QCitizens should be allowed to enjoy more perks for responding to our appeal for inoculation. Hopefully, when the vaccine supply stabilizes, everyone who wants one can get a jab,” she said.
Belmonte further said that the current system will continue until the national government begins implementing its centralized vaccination certification system.
The city government is also pushing for the immediate passage of an ordinance penalizing all vaccine-related fraud to deter people from selling vaccines or vaccination slots and falsifying vaccination cards.
Quezon City has so far administered 921,399 vaccine doses with 238,167 fully vaccinated citizens as of July 8. — Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, trainee
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