The global situation is changing dramatically. Several governments have changed their travel advisories to lift travel restrictions as of this period to allow non-essential travel around the globe. This is an economic strategy to return the economy to stability while promoting tourism. Different countries established different sets of rules and regulations for implementing domestic travel. In line with this, several countries agreed to create a simple method for tracking the vaccination status of their travelers. As a result, the International Certification for Vaccination developed the VaxCert, a vaccination passport for international travel that can only be obtained through the International Certification for Vaccination. In this article, we will discuss seven reasons why you, as a vaccinated person, should have your VaxCert processed for travels abroad.
Last March 20, 2020, the Philippine government close its borders from international flights as part of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in combating the severe spread of the COVID-19 virus. The country’s tourism industry has already felt the pandemic’s negative impact on its performance. Since travel restrictions and measures in other countries began as early as January of 2020, impacting Philippine International tourist arrivals. In addition, Tourism for domestic travels have restricted due to the risk of further spreading the virus locally. In, according to the Department of Tourism, international tourist receipts in the first quarter of this year fell to a low 36% or 85 billion in losses, compared to 2019.
Read Also: What Can You Do Under Alert Level 1? | Bria House and Lot | Bria Homes
As the pandemic is nearing its end, the Philippines’ beautiful islands will entice tourists once more. Nonetheless, the country should seize this opportunity to rebuild the sector by assisting players in upskilling and digitizing, rethinking their business practices, and ensuring compliance with safety and health standards. Among the programs that the country can prioritize to help restart the sector are medical tourism and agritourism. In line with that, the government had launched the VaxCertPH, the country’s portal for the issuance of digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates, in more regions as the system and data sent by local government units (LGUs) are ironed out, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
What is VaxCertPH?
The DOH is mandated by Republic Act No. 11525, also known as the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, to issue COVID-19 vaccine cards to all people who have been immunized. The DICT was tasked with developing a digital process that would certify that a person has been vaccinated in the country in collaboration with the DOH and DILG.
The VaxCertPH service was launched on September 6, but it was only available to vaccinated overseas Filipino workers and Filipinos in Metro Manila planning to travel abroad. The VaxCertPH aims to provide vaccinated Filipinos going abroad with some sort of vaccine passport that will be recognized in foreign jurisdictions. The portal is based on data submitted by local governments via the vaccination information management system, or VIMS. It is the Department of Information and Communications Technology that developed the system and will manage it for the Department of Health.
According to Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)Undersecretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic, the digital vaccine certificates adhere to the World Health Organization’s digital guidelines (WHO). It aims to represent the certificate holder’s vaccination status. At the moment, the system only covers people who have been fully vaccinated. It is available for free through the VaxCertPH portal. VaxCertPH employs both private and public-key cryptography to ensure security.
For your reference, the VaxCertPH digital vaccine certificate should include the following information:
- Quick Response (QR) code for vaccination certificates that must match data in the Vaccination Information Management System (VIMS).
- Personal details — which include the vaccine recipient’s full name, date of birth, and sexual orientation.
- Issuance details — such as the name of the issuing office as well as the date and time of issuance.
- Dose number — this is the number of doses given to the certificate holder.
- Vaccination date — the date the certificate holder received his or her first and/or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
- Type of Vaccine or Prophylaxis — specifies the type of vaccine administered to the certificate holder (COVID-19 vaccine, RNA-based, viral vector-based).
- Brand and manufacturer — which include the brand or trade name used to refer to vaccine (BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, JNJ-78436735) and name of vaccine’s manufacturer (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm) (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm).
- Lot number for vaccination — which shows the batch number or lot number of the vaccine administered.
- Country of vaccination — the country from which the certificate holder received his or her vaccine doses.
Why Should You Obtain a VaxCert?
As local governments in the Philippines are currently issuing physical cards to their vaccinated citizens. The Foreign Affairs Department announced in early August that Hong Kong will not recognize vaccination cards issued to overseas Filipino workers because they do not come from a single source. VaxCertPH aids that problem as it comes from only one source and providing access to its vaccinated citizens who wants to travel abroad. Hong Kong also mentioned that they will only accept WHO international certificates of vaccination or the “yellow card” issued by the Philippines’ Bureau of Quarantine as proof of entry for overseas workers. This is only the tip of the iceberg but different countries around the world is complying with the regulation requirements of WHO to eliminate the
How to get a VaxCert in the Philippines?
Those who have received all their vaccinations can obtain their Digital Vaccination Certificate (DVC) by visiting your local government unit (LGU) and be accommodated by their employees or visit the VaxCertPh portal at https://vaxcert.doh.gov.ph and by following these steps:
- First, when you reach the portal, you have two options: (1) click continue to request a vaccination certificate, or (2) click the scan button to validate a COVID-18 vaccination Certificate QR code. The data privacy statement will be reviewed and accepted by you.
- Following that, you will be asked about your vaccination status and whether you are traveling abroad. It should also be noted that the VaxCertPH certificate is only valid for 14 days (about 2 weeks) after the final vaccination date. The information you encode must match the information on your vaccination card.
- Answer some questions about your vaccination history, such as where and when you received your first and second doses of vaccine.
- Examine the information provided and enter the seven characters shown on the screen. The program will then validate the vaccination information you provided.If no record is found, you can upload your vaccination card and valid ID and provide your e-mail address and phone number.
- After the system locates your record, you can obtain a copy of your DVC. The QR code included in the certificate can be downloaded, printed, or screenshotted.
With vaccination proof being of the utmost importance, especially for travel-related purposes, it is critical to secure your VaxCertPH once fully vaccinated. Having it on hand will make your trips more seamless, whether you want to spend your Christmas in HongKong or to relax on the beautiful beaches of Hawai.