The DOH was studying a recommendation to allow vaccinated people to remove their face masks.
The Department of Health (DOH) said that it was studying a recommendation to allow vaccinated people to remove their face masks.
In a report on GMA News Online, the Department of Health said that it was studying a recommendation on allowing individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 to go maskless.
However, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed in an online briefing that COVID-19 vaccination will not be the sole basis for allowing vaccinated people to remove their face masks as the healthcare utilization rate and the number of coronavirus cases will also be taken into account.
Vergeire also said that while over a million individuals had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine locally, the said figure paled in comparison to the Philippines’ 110-million population.
“Kung sa Estados Unidos po ay nagkaroon sila ng polisiya na pwede nang hindi mag-mask kapag nasa labas, tayo po dito, hindi pa rin po natin ‘yan makonsidera kasi ‘yung rate ng vaccination natin, hindi naman pareho doon sa Estados Unidos. Mahirap po tayong magkumpara sa ibang bansa sa estado natin ngayon… Meron pa rin po tayong mga pailang ilang lugar dito sa ating bansa na tumataas po ang kaso,” Vergeire said.
Meanwhile, OCTA Research fellow Fr. Nicanor Austriaco said in an interview on ANC that the government “has to be ready to gradually relax” health protocols as more Filipinos get inoculated “to give us hope and to give an incentive to those who are hesitant”.
Fr. Austriaco also said that the United States had not yet attained herd immunity but had lifted mask mandates for those who were inoculated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had said that even vaccinated people must continue wearing their face masks in areas with coronavirus transmission, saying that “vaccines are life-saving but on their own, they are not enough.”