How to Get the Polio Vaccine and International Certificate of Vaccination from the Bureau of Quarantine in Manila




Travelers to Saudi Arabia are required to get a polio vaccine which can be acquired from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) in Manila where you will also get the International Certificate of Vaccination or ICV

I'm returning to KSA in less than two weeks and I got my vaccine and certificate today within just 2 hours.







      Requirements for the International Certificate of Vaccination

      In the website of the BOQ, it is advised to bring your travel ticket and passport, and a fee of Php 300.00. However, the guard only checked the visitor's bags and no one asked for any of those documents. Still, make sure you bring these documents.


      Steps in getting the Inactive Polio Vaccine and Certification

      The whole process was surprisingly quick except falling in line but that would depend on the number of people trying to get the polio vaccine. However, the steps are straightforward.


      Step 1: Fill out the data forms (3 minutes)

      The forms are given inside right after entering the gate. 

      The guards regulate the number of people inside so you may need to fall in line first. The queue outside the BOQ was long already when I got there and it took me about 50 minutes before I got in (that's a lot of reading time or an episode of The Witcher).

      There are two forms (Questionnaire and Data Form) that you need to fill out and a number stub will also be given (which is actually useless once you're in).




      Be ready with these information:

      Basic info like name, address, age, country of destination, birthday, civil status.
      Prepare to answer the "OPV/IPV Questionnaire":

      1. Have you had OPV/IPV vaccination before? If yes, when and did you complete the scheduled dosage? Pls. specify: ______________
      (I answered YES and specified "6 months old".)

      2. Are you allergic to foodstuff? Others, please specify: ______________
      (I checked YES and specified "minor itch from crabs and shrimps".)


      3. Are you allergic to drugs (especially streptomycin/neomycin/ polymyxin B)? Others, please specify: ______________

      4. Have you had an adverse reaction OPV/IPV / any vaccine before?

      5. Do you have medical problems/ illnesses (autoimmune deficiency condition/cancer/asthma/kidney/liver disease)? Others, pls. specify: ______________

      6. Are you under medication/treatment (steroids/ radiotherapy/ chemotherapy)? Others, please specify: ______________


      7. Did you have any vaccination for the last thirty (30) days? If there's any, please specify: ______________

      8. FOR FEMALE CLIENT: Last Menstrual Period (dd/mm/yyyy):

      Tip: Fill out these forms as you wait in the shaded waiting areas. Others were writing on the available tables but the others went directly to the next queue and filled out from there, making the number stub useless. That's if you're in a hurry.


      Step 2: Screening (1 to 3 minutes)

      A Screening Nurse will verify the information and answers you provided on the questionnaire. 

      If you answered 'YES' to any of them, you will be referred and interviewed by a Screening Doctor who's at another desk for any contraindications or  your allergy conditions. Answer truthfully and honestly. After that, go to the vaccination line.


      Step 3: Vaccination (1 minute)

      Give the data form to the Vaccination Nurse. The administration of the vaccine is quick and honestly a bit painful (I don't like needles). The attendant rubbed a wet cotton on the area, injected the syringe, and it's done (no cotton after). All actually in 10 seconds!


      Step 4: Payment (1 minute)

      The certificate costs Php 300.00 and as stated in the BOQ website, it's the one we're really paying for. Pay and get the receipt.


      Step 5: Encoding and Release of the International Certificate of Vaccination (5 to 10 minutes)

      After paying, wait for your name to be called in the last section, the encoding and printing. Once called, verify that your name is spelled correctly before they print the certificate.

      Sign the certificate next to the "whose signature follows ✔" and you're done.




      It is indicated on the BOQ website that you can (and perhaps should, but I didn't) stay for around 7 minutes to observe for any adverse effect**. For me, the injected area was throbbing and a little painful but bearable which I think is normal after any injection.

      Location of the Bureau of Quarantine

      Address: 25th St, Port Area, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila







      Schedule of Polio Vaccination

      The Bureau of Quarantine is open from 8 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Friday only.


      Getting Polio Vaccine in Saudi Arabia

      Some of my colleagues had their vaccinations from a government hospital in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia (not available in private hospitals). Unfortunately, I had no time to be at a hospital during the weekdays because of work. Government hospitals (Ministry of Health) are only available from Sunday to Thursday and only until 4 PM.


      Conclusion


      Getting the International Certificate of Vaccination is quite easy. I found the Bureau of Quarantine's process very streamlined. 


      Not that I don't want to spend any cash, but I hope this could be subsidized for all Balik-Manggagawa or Overseas Filipino Workers. 


      That's Php 300.00 from close to a million OFWs in KSA alone who work hard and remit money which has been a huge contributor to our economy's growth.




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