Absences due to COVID-19 vaccination may be excused, CSC says

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021   •   307

MANILA, Philippines – Government workers who will be absent due to COVID-19 vaccination may be considered excused, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) said Wednesday.

In a statement, the CSC said this is pursuant to the interim guidelines it issued through CSC Memorandum Circular No. 16, s. 2021 or the “Interim Guidelines on Absences of Government Officials and Employees Due to COVID-19 Vaccination and/or Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) of COVID-19 Vaccine.”

“The issuance provides for the treatment of absences incurred by government officials and employees during the day of the inoculation of COVID-19 vaccine and/or the required treatment or recuperation period from any AEFI of COVID-19 vaccine,” the agency said.

“The guidelines define AEFI as ‘any untoward medical occurrence which follows immunization and which does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of vaccine,’” it added.

The CSC said the guidelines remind all government workers of their responsibility to adopt necessary measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the public sector workplaces.

“COVID-19 vaccination is considered as one of the major strategies to complement the existing measures and practices to mitigate the spread and reduce morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19,” the guidelines stated.

In relation to leave credits, the CSC said that absences due to AEFI of COVID-19 vaccine may be charged against the employee’s sick leave credits when the period of treatment/recuperation exceeds the maximum allowable period of absences for the abovementioned conditions..

If the employee has exhausted his/her sick leave credits, Section 56 of the Omnibus Rules on Leave allows for the use of vacation leave credits in lieu of sick leave credits.

“In case the vacation leave credits have been exhausted, the employee may apply for sick leave of absence without pay,” the agency said.

“Government workers who have incurred absences due to COVID-19 vaccination and/or have undergone treatment from AEFI prior to the issuance of CSC MC No. 16, s. 2021 may request for the restoration of the deducted leave credits through their agency’s Human Resource unit.” It added.

The guidelines provides the following conditions where excused absence may be considered:

  • Absence from work during the day of inoculation of the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including future booster shots. Required documents include proof of vaccination schedule (e.g. vaccination card) and the application of leave of absence; and
  • Absence from work due to the required treatment/recuperation period from AEFI of the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including future booster shots.

The CSC said a maximum of 15 calendar days may be allowed for cases of serious AEFIs which may include hospitalization, persistent or significant disability or incapacity, and life threatening or medically important event or reaction.

“In addition to the application of leave of absence and copy of vaccination card, the employee must also submit a medical certificate and/or clinical abstract indicating the diagnosis, management done, and number of days of recuperation needed, signed by the attending physician,” it said.

On the other hand, a maximum of three calendar days may be allowed for non-serious AEFIs which may include tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching or swelling on the arm where one got the injection; generally feeling unwell; feeling tired (fatigue); chills or feeling feverish; headache; and joint pain or muscle ache.

“The employee must submit a medical certificate signed by an attending physician at the vaccination center or medical facility where s/he underwent observation due to AEFI,” the CSC said.

The agency said these guidelines shall apply to all government officials and employees regardless of status of appointment (permanent, temporary, provisional, substitute, coterminous, casual, contractual or fixed term) including local elective officials.

It shall take effect retroactively on March 1, 2021, the official rollout of the vaccination drive in the Philippines.

It shall remain in full effect during the period of state of calamity as declared under Proclamation No. 1218 issued by the President of the Philippines, or one year after the government has declared the completion of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program, the CSC said.

PH gov’t simplifies rules for COVID-19 vaccination

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has simplified the requirements for COVID-19 vaccination to encourage more Filipinos to get inoculated amid rising cases of coronavirus infections.

In a press briefing, acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said walk-ins are now allowed at vaccination sites.

 “Hindi na rin po kailangan bilang health screening ang pag-monitor sa blood pressure, unless ang babakunahan ay may history ng hypertension o may sintomas ng hypertension at iba pang konsiderasyon na nakabase sa clinical judgement ng doktor sa vaccination site,” he said.

“Hindi na rin kayo hihingan ng medical clearance at certification para mabakunahan,” he added.

Nograles said medical clearance and certification will only be required for individuals with auto-immune disease, HIV, cancer/malignancy, patients undergoing steroid treatment, and patients with poor prognosis or bedridden.

“May mga bakuna, mas maluwag na po ang requirements para dito, kaya ‘wag na po tayong magdalawang-isip, magpabakuna na po tayo,” Nograles said, addressing the public.

“Luluwag ang ating mga ospital at dadami ang mga bakanteng kama kung marami ang protektado sa malubhang sakit dala ng COVID-19. Let’s help our frontliners and let’s help ourselves by getting vaccinated,” he added.

The Philippines is facing a surge in COVID-19 cases, with 37, 207 infections recorded on Friday, January 14. This is the highest ever single-day tally of cases in the country since the pandemic started in 2020.

Mga batang edad 5-11, inirerekomendang bakunahan vs COVID-19 simula Enero 2022 – VEP

Robie de Guzman   •   December 30, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – Inirerekomenda na ng Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) na bakunahan na kontra COVID-19 ang lahat ng batang may edad 5 hanggang 11 sa pagpasok ng taong 2022.

Ayon sa VEP, kailangan na ring mabakunahan ang mas nakababatang populasyon dahil sa banta ng Omicron COVID-19 variant na mabilis ngayong kumakalat sa ibang bansa.

Ngunit bilang konsiderasyon sa logistics at supply ng paparating na bakuna para sa mga batang 5-11 taong gulang, sinabi ni VEP member at Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Rontgene Solante na posibleng unahin sa pagbabakuna ang mga may co-morbidity gaya ng ginawa sa mga batang may edad 12 hanggang 17 taong gulang.

Batay sa datos ng Department of Health, nasa 13.5 milyon ang populasyon ng mga batang nasa 5-11 age group.

Ayon naman kay National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 Adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa, nakabili na ang pamahalaan ng mga bakuna at nakatakda itong dumating sa bansa sa enero ng susunod na taon.

“We procured 15 million doses of Pfizer for children which will arrive in January and February… So hopefully, we will be able to start vaccinating the 5 to 11 years old,” ani Herbosa.

Sa ngayon, ang Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines ang may emergency use authorization para magamit sa naturang age group.

Panawagan ng mga health expert sa mga magulang kapag naging available ang pambatang formulation ng COVID-19 vaccines, pabakunahan na ang kanilang mga anak lalo at may Omicron cases na sa Pilipinas.

Kalakip pa rin ng pagpapabakuna kontra COVID-19 ay ang pagsunod sa safety at health protocols.

Higit sa lahat, hinihikayat ng mga eksperto ang mga hindi pa bakunado na magpabakuna na upang makaiwas sa malalang epekto na dulot ng iba’t ibang COVID-19 variant gaya ng Delta at Omicron. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Target na 54 million COVID vaccination rate, posibleng maabot sa unang bahagi ng 2022 — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   December 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malabo nang maabot ng pamahalaan ang COVID-19 full vaccination target nitong 54 milyon bago matapos ang taong 2021.

Sa kasalukuyan ay nasa 56 milyong Pilipino pa lamang ang nakakatanggap ng unang dose habang 47.86 milyon naman ang fully vaccinated na. Nasa 1.5 milyon naman ang nakatanggap na ng booster shot.

Ayon sa Department of Health (DOH), posibleng hindi na kayaning maabot ang target dahil maraming lugar ang naapektuhan ng bagyong Odette.

Pero kumpiyansa ang DOH na maaari itong makamit sa unang bahagi ng 2022.

“So as to this 54 Million ang ating pong target ay by the end of the year and to spill over hanggang first quarter of next year,” ani DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“We are still going to pursue to reach our target by the first quarter of next year and ang tignan na lang po nating itong 56.8 million po na naka-first dose natin, hopefully we will have our second dose maipataas pa po natin ang ating coverage for fully vaccinated,” dagdag pa niya.

Iniulat din ni Vergeire na umabot sa 7.49 milyon ang nabakunahan kontra COVID-19 sa ikalawang bugso ng nationwide vaccination program ng pamahalaan mula Disyembre 15 hanggang 22.

Ayon kay Vergeire, ang bilang na ito ay magandang indikasyon na marami ang nagtitiwala sa proteksyong maibibigay ng bakuna laban sa nakakahawang COVID-19.

“What is important for all of us is that we have improved so much in our vaccination comparing this from the second and third quarter of this year. Ito pong 4th quarter of this year ay tumaas po talaga ang ating pagbabakuna,” ang pahayag ng opisyal. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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