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Absences due to COVID jabs may be excused

November 24, 2021 Joel dela Torre 278 views

ABSENCES due to COVID-19 vaccination may be excused pursuant to the interim guidelines issued by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

According to the CSC, Memorandum Circular 16, s. 2021 provides for the treatment of absences incurred by government officials and employees during the day of the inoculation and/or the required treatment or recuperation period from any adverse events following immunization (AEFI).

AEFI under the said guidelines, is defined as any “untoward medical occurrence which follows immunization.

It does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of vaccine.

Said guidelines also remind all government workers of their responsibility to adopt necessary measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the public sector workplaces.

It states that “COVID-19 vaccination is considered as one of the major strategies to complement the existing measures and practices to mitigate the spread and reduce morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19.”

MC 16 also excuses absence from work during the day of inoculation of the first and second doses including the future bolster shots.

The CSC however, advised concerned state workers to provide their respective offices with the required documents to include proof of vaccination schedule or vaccination card and the application of leave of absences.

Absence due to serious AEFIs will be allowed with a maximum 15 calendar days leave.

It includes hospitalization, persistent or significant disability or incapacity and life threatening or medically important event or reaction.

In addition to the application of leave of absence and copy of vaccination card, the employee must also submit a medical certificate and/or clinical abstract indicating the diagnosis, management done, and number of days of recuperation needed, signed by the attending physician.

On the other hand, non-serious AEFIs may be allowed with a maximum of three calendar days which include tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching or swelling on the arm where one got the injection; generally feeling unwell; feeling tired (fatigue); chills or feeling feverish; headache; and joint pain or muscle ache. The employee must submit a medical certificate signed by an attending physician at the vaccination center or medical facility where s/he underwent observation due to AEFI.

The CSC said that absences due to AEFI of COVID-19 vaccine may be charged against the employee’s sick leave credits when the period of treatment/recuperation exceeds the maximum allowable period of absences for the abovementioned conditions.