The government is eyeing to give incentives and privileges to Filipinos fully inoculated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., said as the vaccination of the economic front-liners formally kicked off on Monday.
“We see in other countries, they are giving leeway to those who are already vaccinated, especially the elderly,” Galvez said in a press briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque after the symbolic vaccination of 50 essential workers at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Citing a similar situation in Israel, Galvez said all vaccinated senior citizens in the area can now freely roam around in public places, while those unvaccinated ones are not allowed to go outside their homes.
Galvez said other countries are already initiating various strategies just to encourage more of their population to get vaccinated.
“In order to motivate our seniors and also our people with comorbidities, we need to give them a little leeway,” he said partly in Filipino.
Galvez said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is eyeing to provide some privileges and incentives to the vaccinated individuals.
“We are considering to give some sort of opening of restrictions to those persons who will be vaccinated, especially the quarantine protocols when they return from abroad,” he said.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the vaccine expert panel and the technical advisory group of experts are yet to study on easing of restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated.
“Because our end goal here is to have an increased mobility those people who have already completed their vaccine doses,” Duque said in Filipino.
As the government plans to give incentives to fully vaccinated individuals, Duque said effective methods to prevent Covid-19 transmission should still be observed such as wearing face masks and face shields as well as observing physical distancing.
Duque said people should still adhere to the minimum health protocols as “there is no evidence yet” that vaccination can completely stop people from being infected with the virus.
“We need to continue doing this because there’s not enough data to say that once a person is vaccinated, he would not be able to get infected or infect others anymore,” he said in Filipino.
The vaccine experts worldwide are still collating additional data on this matter and continue to do daily monitoring on developments of vaccination, particularly in countries that have already inoculated more than 50 percent of the respective population, he added. SOVEREIGNPH