In order to guide its teaching and non-teaching personnel on matters related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination, the Department of Education (DepEd) Task Force COVID-19 (DTFC) has issued guidance on their roles based on their levels of participation.
DepEd Undersecretary and DTFC Chairperson Alain Del Pascua issued memorandum no. 372 last April 19 said health authorities – including the Department of Health (DOH) – have “repeatedly emphasized that COVID-19 vaccination is one of the major strategies to complement the existing measures and practices to mitigate the spread and reduce morbidity and mortality due to coronavirus infection.”
Pascua added that the government’s directions pertaining to COVID-19 vaccination were laid out in the Philippine National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) for COVID-19 vaccines and further elaborated in DOH issuances.
Related to this, Pascua explained that DepEd personnel “have three levels of participation” in the ongoing implementation of NDVP.
First, as “recipients or beneficiaries” on a personal level or as qualified recipients of the vaccine.
Second, as members of the different bodies in the vaccination plan such as the task force in sub-task groups of the immunization program; part of the vaccination team as volunteer members of their respective local vaccination teams through the practice of their professions in relevant skills, like medical professionals, as educators or guidance counselors; and vaccination Operation Center (VOC) as members of the planning, campaign, management and technical team of the VOC at various levels of governance.
Third, as “champions for advocacy on vaccinations.” Pascua explained that the DepEd Public Affairs Service (PAS) is working with the DOH h on this initiative.
“A DepEd Communications Plan for increasing awareness and rallying DepEd personnel to be champions for vaccinations, and encouraging everyone to be informed and get vaccinated is in the works,” Pascua said. A separate memo on this program will also be issued.
Pascua noted that the issuance of the comprehensive guidance to the field regarding all these three levels of participation expected of DepEd and its personnel is consistent with the pronouncements of Education Secretary Leonor Briones in previous meetings and activities related to the government’s vaccination program.