Philippines Report

IATF OKs movement of fully vaccinated seniors

IATF OKs movement of fully vaccinated seniors

The government’s pandemic task force has finally allowed the movement of fully vaccinated senior citizens in areas under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified GCQ (MGCQ).

In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the movement of seniors in these areas is subject to the presentation of a duly issued coronavirus vaccination card and strict observance of the minimum public health standards.

The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, however, limited the movement of fully vaccinated seniors to travel within their zone as interzonal travel is still prohibited, except for point-to-point travel that was previously allowed.

Last month, Roque said it would be safer for senior citizens, even fully vaccinated ones, to stay in their homes until the country has achieved population protection against COVID-19.

The government is eyeing population protection in the NCR-plus bubble area by November 27. Population protection targets to vaccinate the members of the population who are more susceptible to the disease and are likely to show severe symptoms.

“Let us veer on the safer side na hanggang wala pang population protection, habang hindi pa natin nababakunahan ang 70 percent ng ating populasyon, stay at home po muna ang ating mga lolo at lola (that unless we’ve achieved population protection, while we have not vaccinated 70 percent of our population, then our grandparents should stay at home),” he said.

However, the Palace official said this did not mean that seniors were prohibited from going out.

“Hindi naman po absolutely prohibited ang mga seniors na lumabas (They are not absolutely prohibted from going out),” Roque said.

“Pwede po silang lumabas para bilhin ang mga kinakailangan nila. Kung kailangang pumunta ng mall para dito, pinapayagan naman sila (Seniors can go out to buy necessities. If they need to go to the mall for that, they may do so),” he added.

Roque said seniors were also allowed to go out to exercise outdoors.

Inoculating seniors is a priority of the government. In its vaccination program against COVID-19, seniors are second-in-line after healthcare workers.

Government data showed that as of June 6, a total of 369,387 senior citizens have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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