‘Bakuna bubbles’ need proper study before adoption—MMDA


Although supportive of the private sector’s proposal to establish ‘vaccine bubbles’, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr cautioned that before implementing such a scheme, more study and a vaccination target for the country’s population should first be initiated.


MAKATI CITY — Amidst the intensified vaccine rollout and vaccination program for Metro Manila, the private sector had proposed the so-called ‘bakuna bubbles’ to protect the vaccinated and unvaccinated while encouraging the unvaccinated to have themselves administered with the available Covid-19 vaccine jabs.

However, this was opposed by no less than justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who tagged the establishment of such “is discriminatory and violative of the Constitution’s equal protection clause.”

“Imposing the proposal to segregate those fully vaccinated against Covic-19 from the unvaccinated might face a legal challenge for discriminatory treatment,” the justice secretary pointed out.

“If the proposal is implemented at this time, it can be challenged legally for being discriminatory,” he warned while adding that the proposal is untimely because the vaccines are not yet available in some areas.

The private sector had also suggested the ‘bakuna bubbles’ to help boost the economy which had been adversely affected by the quarantine restrictions brought about by government’s efforts to stem the surge of increasing infections and transmissions of Covid-19, especially in the presence of several variants of concern.

In assessing the current situation, many areas do not have access to vaccines, the justice chief argued that it is not their fault if there are still unvaccinated people so it would be unfair for the unvaccinated if they will be discriminated upon because of it.

“Vaccination is not mandatory yet, but authorities are imposing minimum health protocols, including wearing masks, social distancing, face shields, etc.,” he noted.

“Right now, we are still vaccinating A4. This means only up to economic frontliners. The general population, based on the order of priority, is not yet included in the current rollout,” he also said.

Added to this, some people have valid medical reasons that prevent them from getting vaccinated, such as allergies and contraindications.

In implementing the vaccination program, the Government is following the order of priorities in its vaccination program and this puts healthcare workers first (A1), senior citizens second (A2), and persons with co-morbidities third (A3).

Justice secretary Guevarra said that when the country reached the stage when vaccines are available to everyone will there be no reason to refuse the medicine except for medical reasons and then the segregation proposal could be revisited. (TRC/JuanManila)

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