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  • These Countries Require A Certificate From Pinoy Travelers That They Are Polio Vaccinated

    Be informed if you're traveling this holiday season
    by Laila Mendoza .
These Countries Require A Certificate From Pinoy Travelers That They Are Polio Vaccinated
PHOTO BY @interstid/iStock
  • After 19 years, a polio outbreak was declared again in the Philippines in September 2019. In light of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Filipinos to get three doses of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) and one dose of the inactive polio vaccine (IPV) for protection. The vaccination is typically administered to children age 5 and below; however, adults are required to get a booster shot even if they have completed their vaccines as a child if they reside in an infected area.

    Moreover, WHO has released a list of countries requiring polio vaccination certificates from travelers arriving from or going to the Philippines and other countries affected by polio. Countries like Brunei, Georgia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Maldives, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, and Seychelles now require Filipinos to present their certificate before granting them with visas or entry permits.

    Here are some tips for you if you’re planning to go on a trip abroad with the family this holiday season.

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    1. Be aware of the policies of the country you’re visiting.

    Contact the embassy or consulate in the Philippines of the desired country and ask about their immunization requirements. If they require you present your certificate, you obviously need to comply and get a booster shot.

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    2. Know where to get the shots.

    You have two choices on where to get the vaccine: through a private hospital or go directly to the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ). The BOQ offers oral polio vaccine while private hospitals give inactive polio vaccine. (Here's a list of hospitals where you can get the polio vaccine for free.) If you choose to get your vaccination from a private doctor, they should give you a signed medical certificate that has your name and lot number of the vaccine that was administered to you on it.

    3. Get your International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV)

    Once proven that you’ve undergone the vaccination, you may now go to the BOQ for the issuance of the ICV. Note that you must pay a fee of Php300 to claim your ICV. You have to wait a few hours to get the certificate, which is valid for a lifetime.

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