Int’l community discussing standards for COVID-19 vaccine certificate – DFA exec
MANILA, Philippines — Discussions are now being carried out in the international community for a standardized COVID-19 vaccination certificate, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) told senators Tuesday.
“Discussions are underway in the international community and discussions are also being undertaken at bilateral and multilateral levels regarding the standards for an international vaccine certificate,” Assistant Secretary Eric Tamayo of the DFA Office of International Economic Relations said in a Senate Committee of the Whole hearing.
“We see that the basis most likely will be the existing yellow card system of the World Health Organization,” he added.
There is still no international standard on the issuance of a COVID-19 vaccine certificate but the World Health Organization (WHO) currently issues a “medical passport” called the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP), or the “Yellow Card”, for travelers to serve as proof that they had been vaccinated against yellow fever.
“That is the easiest pathway because it is already deployed with respect to other vaccines, other requirements for other vaccines. It is already in place and it is recognized in various jurisdictions,” Tamayo added.
“We will be most likely building up on this yellow card system through the Bureau of Quarantine of the Department of Health in collaboration with the DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) as well utilizing the database that they are building up,” he added.
Before this, Senator Joel Villanueva also asked how the COVID-19 vaccine certificates of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were vaccinated abroad are being verified.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Philippine foreign posts can be tasked to validate and authenticate the vaccination of OFWs.
“I discussed this with [Interior Secretary] Eduardo Año, it might be good to consider our postings abroad. Yung mga embassy po natin, they might be in the best position to validate and have the vaccination status authenticated,” Duque said.
“Kasi sa ngayon wala pa tayong international database and anybody can just refer to that international database for authentication,” he added.
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