MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has revised its guidelines on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination and deployment program.
Under the Department Memorandum No. 2021-0175, the DOH said that individuals who recently recovered from COVID-19 may be vaccinated immediately after recovery or completion of treatment for their first or second dose.
The DOH previously said that persons who tested positive for COVID-19 had to wait for 90 days before they get vaccinated.
This development comes after the country’s vaccine experts panel recommended inoculating COVID-19 survivors 14 days after their recovery.
The new DOH guidelines also state that individuals who were not able to receive their second dose due to medical reasons must coordinate with their respective vaccination sites for the immediate rescheduling of their vaccination.
The agency also said that only individuals experiencing a blood pressure (BP) of 180/120 or higher, with signs and symptoms of organ damage during the screening process, cannot be vaccinated.
“Other vaccine recipients with blood pressure not meeting definitions of hypertensive emergency may be vaccinated,” the DOH said.
The department also emphasized that medical clearance is not required for vaccination, except for individuals with autoimmune disease, HIV, cancer patients currently undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, transplant patients, those undergoing steroid treatment, and patients who are bedridden or with a poor prognosis.
The national government is currently vaccinating persons and workers belonging to A1 (healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities) priority sectors. The Inter-Agency Task Force has also approved the list of sectors that are included in the A4 group.
The DOH earlier reported that over one million Filipinos have been vaccinated against COVID-19 disease.
The agency, however, reminded to continue observing minimum public health standards even after vaccination to curb the transmission of COVID-19.