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19 countries now requiring polio vaccination certificates from travelers

The number of countries which were now requiring travelers to present a polio vaccination certificate had increased to 19,  Joseph Morong reported Friday on 24 Oras.

According to the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), the countries which now required an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) were:

  • Afghanistan
  • Belize
  • Brunei
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Maldives
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Ukraine

The requirement had created queues at the BOQ office in Manila, where travelers were lining up to get vaccinated.

"It goes two ways. For those countries that they have cases na ganun - for your protection, sa mga pupunta doon," BOQ Doctor Noreen Balingbing-Espero explained. "At the same time, may mga countries na wala kaming ganyang cases of polio, baka kasi dalhin nyo sa amin ‘yung polio."

While vaccinations were free at the bureau, a P300 fee was needed for the ICV.

Travelers may also get vaccinated in private hospitals or through private doctors. However, only the BOQ was authorized to issue the certificate.

The BOQ also reminded travelers that they needed to get vaccinated four weeks before their travel date, and that complete details needed to be included in their written proof of vaccination.

"Complete in the sense na may pangalan na kung ano’ng vaccine yung binigay, via what route siya binigay, kung oral or intravenous siya. Tapos kung ano’ng lot number, and sinong manufacturer, the license number also of the physician," Espero said.

Despite the queuing, the BOQ saw the recent development as a positive given that it was an opportunity to update their vaccination list, especially with the fourth polio case discovered in the country. — Joahna Lei Casilao/DVM, GMA News