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Human rights standards must be observed in gov’t’s 3-day vax drive — CHR

/ 02:39 PM November 16, 2021
The CHR has backed the launch of a three-day COVID vaccination drive but reminded that it must be done in under human rights standards.

Commission on Human Rights spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia. Image from CHR.

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has backed the national government’s proposal to launch a three-day COVID-19 vaccination drive but reminded that it must be done in accordance with human rights standards.

In a statement on Tuesday, lawyer and CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said that the three-day vaccination drive, slated to run from November 29 to December 1, is a much-needed boost to protect the people from infections, which is part of the state’s obligation.

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“This intensified vaccination effort is in line with the State’s duty to safeguard everyone’s right to health. We are hopeful that it will bolster the vaccination momentum and that more people will be encouraged to get inoculated as they see more evidence of its impact,” De Guia said.

“In the same vein, CHR expresses its continuing support in the desire of achieving herd immunity. However, we equally continue to reiterate our stern reminder that efforts toward this end, such as this 3-day vaccination drive, must always comply with domestic laws and human rights standards in upholding the rights and dignity of all,” she added.

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READ: Palace: 3-day national vaccination drive may be declared non-working days 

READ: 3-day no-work holiday eyed to meet vaccination target 

Aside from that, De Guia said that the vaccination drive is also important in ensuring that the public is still protected — especially with the recent influx of people in public spaces like malls, parks, and other areas after alert levels were downgraded due to a lower COVID-19 infection tally.

“With currently about 30 million Covid-19 vaccines administered and 13 million Filipinos fully-vaccinated, the Department of Health has reported that the daily positivity rate has gone down to 3.9%. This is the lowest recorded rate of Covid-19 cases since 17 May 2020. The average new cases have also gone down to around 2,000, which is also the lowest average since 25 February 2021,” De Guia said.

“Considering the relaxation of quarantine restrictions, the vaccination drive is also crucial in ensuring that more people are protected as normalcy gradually resumes,” she explained.

INQUIRER.net tried to ask the CHR to clarify what specific rights standards must be adhered to, but it has not yet replied as of posting time.

However, it can be remembered that huge crowds — effectively disregarding health protocols — and other problems have plagued vaccination sites in the past when wrong information misled people into thinking that they cannot work or receive social aid if they do not get vaccinated.

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Last August 5, Manila’s local government unit cut off the vaccination queue after over 19,000 individuals flocked to vaccination sites, fearing the backlash of having no vaccination against COVID-19.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno then blamed the statements of President Rodrigo Duterte about a possible no vaccine, no social aid policy, that caused the overcrowding at vaccination sites.

READ: ‘Fake news’ outbreak sends crowds to vax sites before ECQ 

READ: Reckless statements behind jab panic: If that ‘somebody’ is Duterte 

READ: ‘Somebody’s threats vs unvaccinated people triggered public fear’ – Isko 

As of November 13, over 31 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which comprises around 28 percent of the country’s entire population.  With this pace, health experts said that it would take around 111 more days to reach the nationwide target of herd immunity, or vaccinating 70 percent of the entire population.

The three-day holiday is expected to boost these numbers, to inoculate more individuals before the holiday season.

READ: PH posts highest daily jab rate, expects faster rollout 

READ: 3-day national vax drive set to hit protection target 

JPV

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TAGS: Atty. Jacqueline de Guia, CHR, Commission on Human Rights, COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 Vaccinations, Philippine news updates, three-day vaccination drive
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