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No travel ban to PHL despite polio epidemic

In light of the declaration of polio epidemic, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified that there are no travel restrictions to the Philippines.

Nonetheless, it reiterated the advisory of the International Health Regulations for travelers entering or leaving the Philippines.

“Filipinos are not restricted from traveling to other countries at this time. But before they leave, we strongly advise them, most especially our OFWs [overseas Filipino workers], to check if the country that they will be traveling to requires a vaccination certificate,” Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said.

Travelers who are leaving for countries that require immunization, can receive a dose of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) before departure and secure an International Certificate of Vaccination from the DOH Bureau of Quarantine that will serve as proof of vaccination.

As for those entering the country, travelers including foreign nationals and returning Filipinos of all ages, who are intending to stay in the Philippines for four weeks and more and have not received any polio vaccination in the last 12 months, are encouraged to have themselves immunized with a single dose of IPV not later than four weeks before their scheduled travel to the Philippines.

Those with urgent travel within four  weeks are recommended to receive a single dose of IPV at least by the time of departure as this will still provide added protection, particularly for frequent travelers.

The DOH has conducted a synchronized polio vaccination on October 14  in the country to arrest the spread of the disease. The mass vaccination will end on October 27.

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