After getting a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) jab himself, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III enjoined education frontliners – and the general public – to also get vaccinated as soon as they are allowed to do so.
In a message to the Manila Bulletin on Wednesday, May 19, De Vera confirmed that he already received his first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine “for a while now.”
De Vera added that he is currently “waiting for [the] second dose in June.”
Given this, De Vera enjoined other education frontliners to do the same once they are allowed to do so. “Magpabakuna na tayo kung pwede (Let’s get vaccinated if possible),” he said.
“Lets do it not for ourselves but for our family members and for our friends and fellow workers,” De Vera added.
De Vera said that all education frontliners are now eligible under the A4 category which is a prioritization set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) for vaccine to frontliners and skeleton workforce employees in essential sectors like education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sa ating symbolic vaccination ng lagpas 100 education frontliners sa Unibersidad de Manila kahapon nakita ko na ganado at gusto ng mga kawani ng UDM na mabakubahan. Walang vaccine hesitancy (During our symbolic vaccination of over 100 education frontliners at the UDM yesterday, I saw that the UDM staff wanted to be vaccinated and there was no vaccine hesitancy),” De Vera said.
CHED, along with the Department of Health (DOH) and the City of Manila, led the symbolic vaccination of education frontliners at the Universidad de Manila (UDM) on May 18.
In April, De Vera lobbied for the upgrading of the education frontliners from B1 to A4 in the IATF.
“Our argument to the IATF was, you need to vaccinate the skeletal workforce of HEIs because by July, the students would have graduated, they would need their grades, transcript of records, diploma so they can take the licensure tests, they can look for a job,” De Vera said in an online press conference during the celebration of the first National Higher Education Day on May 18.
“If the skeletal workforce in our higher education will not be vaccinated by that time, there is a risk that they will not be able to efficiently issue the credentials of students,” De Vera added.
He explained that “credentials cannot be done online, diplomas are printed on special paper, the Transcript of Records cannot be disseminated online – all these have to be done manually or by individuals.” Thus, De Vera thanked the IATF for including education frontliners under the A4 category.