At least 20 more Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have expressed willingness to partner with the government by allowing their facilities to be used as vaccination sites in its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) inoculation program.
This was confirmed by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III over a radio interview on Wednesday, April 14. “It’s better if we have more vaccination facilities,” he explained in Filipino.
To date, De Vera said that a total of 17 colleges and universities have agreed to have their facilities used as COVID-19 vaccination sites. Majority of these are located in the National Capital Region (NCR).
As of April 9, the 17 public and private HEIs that offered their facilities to serve as vaccination sites of local government units include Our Lady of Fatima University – Valenzuela, Manila Central University, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta – Las Piñas Campus, De La Salle University – Dasmariñas, St. Louis University, Central Philippine University, West Visayas State University, OLFU- San Fernando, Pampanga, University of Baguio, Benguet State University, University of Cebu, University of Perpetual Help – Dr. Jose G. Tamayo Medical University, OLFU-Quezon City, De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute, Notre Dame Kidapawan College, North Valley College Foundation, and Cotabato Medical Foundation.
For the additional HEIs, De Vera noted that specific arrangements will be made. The partnership will also depend on the agreement made between the HEI and the LGU.
“Our target is to finalize everything in April because many vaccines will be arriving in May,” De Vera explained.
De Vera also noted that more HEIs have signified their interest to be vaccination sites. “Many of these HEIs have been approved to conduct limited face-to-face classes in their medical and allied health programs as approved by the President last January 2021,” he added.
These HEIs, De Vera added, have already been inspected by the CHED, the local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and LGUs.
“We are sure that the proper health protocols, retrofitting of facilities, and the requirements for safety are already being implemented by these universities,” De Vera said.
These HEIs, he added also have big facilities like gymnasiums that can be used for vaccination. “They have the necessary health personnel who can assist in the vaccination drive,” he said.
Meanwhile, De Vera also reiterated the need to urgently to proceed with this initiative.
“As we move from A1 to A4 and then to B1, the number of people that we need to vaccinate are going to be bigger in number especially when we go to indigents and essential workers,” he said. “Our existing vaccination centers under the local government should expand to cover these groups and HEI facilities can be tapped,” he ended.