More countries require PH travelers to get polio vaccine certificate

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2019 03:41 PM | Updated as of Nov 19 2019 11:41 PM

The Bureau of Quarantine’s list of countries that ask Filipino travelers to present an International Certificate of Vaccination against polio, as of November 19, 2019. Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) – At least 19 countries are requiring Filipino travelers for proof that they have been vaccinated against polio.

Based on a list from the World Health Organization (WHO), shown Tuesday by the Bureau of Quarantine, the countries that ask Filipino travelers to present an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) against polio include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Belize
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Maldives
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Ukraine

A July 2019 list from the WHO initially listed at least 9 countries that require ICVs.

Embassies and consulates of several countries included in the WHO list, however, said they have not received communication from their governments regarding proof of polio vaccination. 

These include Georgia, Lebanon, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, and Qatar.

The Embassy of Brunei in Manila said it does not regard the Philippines as a polio-affected country.

The Indonesian embassy said it has not received an official statement from its government but suggested that Filipinos should still get vaccinated.

Travelers may get vaccinated and acquire an ICV at the BOQ headquarters in Manila and the bureau’s regional offices.

Michael Sherwin Evangelista, a medical officer at the BOQ, advised travelers to contact their destination’s embassy or consulate in the Philippines to ask about immunization requirements.

In September, the Department of Health confirmed the first polio case in the Philippines, 19 years after the WHO declared the country free from the disease.