Lanao Sur sets ‘no vax, no travel’ policy on special vax days


Authorities have started a “no vaccination, no travel” policy in Lanao del Sur as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) began Monday its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) special vaccination days (SVDs).

“This is for the protection of everybody. I hope people will cooperate because anywhere you go, a vaccination card is required,” Dr. Alinader Minalang, Lanao del Sur provincial health officer, said in an interview.

Minalang said the initiative is to help convince unvaccinated Maranaos to avail of the health services.

“If you still do not cooperate or submit yourselves for vaccination, that is your right. You may skip vaccination in Lanao del Sur but when you go to Davao or Cagayan de Oro, vaccination is required so what do you do?” he said.

He reiterated that the vaccine against the deadly virus is “halal,” or allowed by Muslim religious leaders to be administered to Muslims or Islamic believers.

“It has been proven that this is so far the most effective way to fight the virus,” he added.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, more than 3,000 health frontliners started rolling out the five-day SVDs in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.

“The SVDs in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur will end on May 20,” said Saida Diocolano Ali, Ministry of Health (MOH-BARMM) information officer.

Minalang said the vaccination drive in Lanao del Sur aims to reach out to 35,000 residents in the province’s 1,159 barangays in 39 municipalities.

In Maguindanao, health officials also seek to reach 50,000 people to receive their first shots of the vaccines.

The SVDs also offer second doses and booster shots to residents of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.

MOH-BARMM acting Minister Dr. Zul Qarnayen Abas said the ministry has designed strategies to increase vaccination rate that include “reaching the unreachable.”

“Reaching the unreachable means we need to look for and vaccinate the A2 groups, meaning the senior citizens and the A5, the poor population,” Abas said.

Source: Philippines News Agency