More than 300,000 employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) in 15 regions have been vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This was announced by Education Secretary Leonor Briones during the Laging Handa public briefing on Monday, July 16.
“Ang ginawa namin ay sinasabihan namin, ini-instruct namin ang aming mga teachers dahil napaka-aktibo ngayon ng mga local governments sa kanilang vaccination activities, kung qualified sila according to the priorities, dapat pumunta na sila sa mga local governments nila (What we did is asked and instructed our teachers, because local governments are now very active in their vaccination activities, that if they are qualified according to the priorities, they should go to their local governments),” Briones said.
In April, President Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved the appeal of Briones to include basic education frontliners in the A4 priority category (from B1) of the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan.
“As a matter of fact, more than 300,000 employees have been vaccinated already in 15 regions,” Briones said in a mix of English and Filipino – noting that the data from Regions IV-B at Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are not yet available.
Briones noted that these DepEd employees, including teachers, were able to get vaccinated on their own because they were instructed to go to their local governments especially those with comorbidities.
Meanwhile, Briones noted that Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez gave his commitment that by August, vaccination of teachers – as well as students – will be “substantial” by then.
“If this is not possible by then, then we will have to wait on the President’s level of satisfaction with how we are preparing,” she added.
Briones explained that the condition about the vaccination is from the President himself – especially on the resumption of limited face-to-face classes.
“He has to be given that level of satisfaction and comfort that the children and their teachers are protected, so that is the situation at this time because the President did not change his condition that everyone involved in education will be vaccinated,” Briones said.