‘No vax, no work’ is illegal, DOH stresses as fake news causes panic

August 6, 2021 - 5:59 PM
At SM Manila
Individuals wanting to be inoculated with the COVID-19 jabs set up camp along sidewalks and streets as the line stretches from the SM Manila vaccination site to almost at the Quinta Market in Quiapo, Manila on Thursday midnight, Aug. 5, 2021. (The STAR/Miguel de Guzman)

The Department of Health denied swirling reports about the COVID-19 jab requirement for work and financial aid as false information.

Some local government units have also issued the same advisories after seeing an overcrowding at vaccination sites in several cities in Metro Manila and in Antipolo, Rizal.

“Hindi totoo na kapag hindi ka nabakunahan ay ibig-sabihin wala kang ayuda o hindi ka pwedeng magtrabaho. (cross emoji) Paalala sa ating lahat na huwag maniwala sa mga fake news. Iwasan natin ang pagkalat ng mga ito para sa kaligtasan ng bawat isa (laptop and cellphone emojis),” DOH said on Augsut 5.

The health department also attached separate statements concerning the sudden influx of people in vaccination sites on Thursday, August 5, the eve of the Metro Manila lockdown.

In one of the posts, the DOH strongly advised against the “no vaccine, no work” policy, citing the provision from Republic Act 11525 about COVID-19 vaccine cards.

In Section 12 of the measure, it was stated that:

“Vaccine cards shall not be considered as an additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment and other similar government transaction purposes.”

The Department of Labor and Employment had a similar advisory.

“Any employee who refuses or fails to be vaccinated shall not be discriminated against in terms of tenure, promotion, training, pay and other benefits, among others, or terminated from employment. No vaccine, no work policy shall not be allowed,” it read.

Vaccination to continue during ECQ

Despite heightened pandemic restrictions starting Friday, August 6, the COVID-19 vaccination program continues under local government units.

The health department also urged local government units, some of which have allowed walk-in vaccination, to set up a working registration platform or website instead.

This is to prevent the inoculation process from turning into a “super-spreader event,” given the rising cases of Delta variant in the country.

“Muli, siguraduhin natin ang kaligtasan ng ating sarili, pamilya at komunidad sa pamamagitan sa pagsunod sa minimum public health standards sa ano mang lugar at ano mang gawain,” DOH said.

At SM Masinag in Antipolo
Individuals hoping to get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine flock to a mall in Antipolo City on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (The STAR/Michael Varcas)

READ: False info made 10,000 people line up for Manila vaccination, says LGU

Based on videos and photos from reporters, the cities of Manila, Quezon City, Las Piñas and the municipality of Antipolo in Rizal experienced large crowds of residents queuing and clamoring to receive COVD-19 vaccines.

Some videos showed groups of people lining up at SM San Lazaro in Manila hours before the scheduled immunization started.

Others showed residents of Las Piñas running to get to the vaccination site at SM Southmall at 2 a.m.

The incidents forced LGUs to halt distribution to unregistered vaccine recipients.