IN A bid to further ramp up the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination in the country, acting presidential spokesperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles reiterated on Friday, January 14, that vaccination centers should cater to walk-ins and that health screening is no longer mandatory for all.

In a press conference, Nograles said based on the Department of Health (DOH) memorandum 2021-0218 issued in May 2021, blood pressure monitoring and evaluation during health screening prior to vaccination is no longer required, unless the vaccine recipient has a history of hypertension, has symptoms of hypertension or are in distress, or other consideration based on the clinical judgment of the physician on duty.

He said medical clearance and certification are also no longer required, with exemption to persons with autoimmune disease, HIV and cancer or malignancy or transplant patients, patients undergoing steroid treatment or patients with poor prognosis, and bedridden patients.

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

(We have vaccines and the requirements are less stringent, so don’t think twice, have yourselves vaccinated.)

"Luluwag ang ating mga ospital at dadami ang mga bakanteng kama kung marami ang protektado sa malubhang sakit dala ng Covid-19 (Our hospitals will have more beds for the sick). Let’s help our frontliners and let’s help ourselves by getting vaccinated," he added.

As of January 13, a total of 117,337,626 vaccine doses have been administered in the Philippines.

A total of 54,423,286 individuals have completed their Covid-19 vaccination, while 58,510,560 have received the first dose.

Despite the spike in Covid-19 cases in the Philippines since first week of January 2022, officials said hospitalization remains manageable and this can be attributed to the nationwide vaccination.

Of the 237,387 Covid-19 cases in the country as of January 13, 7,332 were considered asymptomatic, 225,408 have mild symptoms, 2,881 moderate, 1,468 severe and 298 critical. (SunStar Philippines)